District News, May 20, 2022

Some of the adults and children who got involved with the 'Big White Shore Beach Clean'.
Some of the adults and children who got involved with the 'Big White Shore Beach Clean'.

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Tarbert

Village cleans up ahead of summer

Volunteers from across Tarbert have spent the last few weekends showing the village some litter-picking love, culminating in the ‘Big White Shore Beach Clean’ earlier this month.

Almost 100 people spent 170 hours clearing rubbish blown in on the tide, as well as litter-picking at various locations to make sure the village is picture perfect and ready to welcome holidaymakers and visitors for the summer season.

Organised by Tarbert and Skipness Community Trust, Tarbert Harbour Authority, Tarbert Yacht Club and The GRAB Trust, the beach clean focused on Garvel and the White Shore but also saw 10 young people cleaning the beach around Tarbert Ferry Terminal, as well as spending two hours cleaning the area around Tarbert Yacht Club.

Sheila Campbell, chairperson of Tarbert and Skipness Community Trust, thanked all the volunteers for giving up their time.

‘Once again, the community has pulled together to make our village an even more beautiful place,’ she said. ‘Over the last couple of years, we’ve had to cancel this event due to Covid-19, so it was good to be back out working together.

‘Despite the length of time between beach cleans, it was a disappointment to see so much rubbish that needn’t be there.

‘If we are all more careful about making sure we don’t throw anything into Tarbert harbour, it would be much cleaner. This includes garden rubbish which disperses seeds and captures the plastic, grinding it to ever smaller pieces, and there is now Japanese knotweed on the path.

‘However, we were pleased to see fewer plastic bottles and big rubbish but saddened to see so much more microplastic.

‘As well as making the area look more attractive for locals and visitors, this year we were also playing our part to help wildlife.

‘We’ve been very excited to see a family of seals move onto an island close to the White Shore. The seals sit on a rock when the tide goes out and they can be easily seen from the beginning of the White Shore path.

‘It was important to us to make sure there was a clean beach for them and all the birds that congregate around there.

‘We’re particularly happy to see so many young people joining us, including some pre-schoolers, showing there is no age limits on protecting the environment.’

An increase in microplastic is causing concern.
An increase in microplastic is causing concern.

Anyone taking a walk to the White Shore this summer, is being urged to take a bag and help keep the area as clean as possible.

Visit www.tsct.org.uk or email info@tsct.org.uk to find out more about the work of Tarbert and Skipness Community Trust, as well as details about how to become a member.

Gigha

Aquaculture firm wins top community engagement award

The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC), which has a farm in Gigha’s East Tarbert Bay, has won the Community Initiative Award at this month’s 2022 Aquaculture Awards.

The award was presented at a long-awaited in-person Aquaculture UK gala dinner in Aviemore.

The event celebrated projects, businesses and individuals making an exceptional contribution to the global aquaculture community.

The Community Initiative Award recognises the work SSC has achieved in enhancing the aquaculture industry’s relationship with local communities, with particular focus on supporting local services, charities and culturally valuable initiatives.

Last year, 61 per cent of SSC suppliers were local, with a total of 541 Scottish suppliers.

SSC launched a Community Fund in 2017 which awards money to community groups promoting health and wellbeing or environmental stewardship. The fund has supported food banks, schools and sports teams, as well as groups that organise beach cleans.

Since 2017, more than 100 staff-nominated groups have received funding in areas including Argyll and Bute and, this year, SSC is opening the fund up to external community nominations.

The Aquaculture Awards are judged by a panel of experts from across the industry and criteria for judging included an evaluation of feedback from the communities in which SSC operates.

‘We are committed to supporting local initiatives, and creating value and long-term employment opportunities in the communities in which we live and work,’ said Ian Laister, SSC managing director.

‘The recognition from the Community Initiative Award is testament to the relationships we have worked hard to nurture within our local communities and the initiatives we have supported through our Community Fund.’