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Businesses and Communities Redd Up Remote Areas

Tuesday November 27, 4:57 PM

With marine industries and land owners realising the benefits of making positive change, this year saw a large increase in the number of remote areas cleared through Da Voar Redd Up.   

Sita Goudie, Environmental Improvement Officer at the Trust, said: “Often communities highlight remote areas blighted by bruck but, even with a willing group and agreeable landowner, bruck cannot be collected as the only way to transport it for uplift would be by boat. There are also many areas which are only accessible by boat.”

While the Trust has worked with aquaculture firms in the past, this year Seafood Shetland contacted them to say that several of their members would like to help and that they could help coordinate.

Ruth Henderson, Chief Executive of Seafood Shetland, said: “Our members were keen to play their part during Da Voar Redd Up.  Working with the Trust enabled us to target our efforts and help both the groups and areas most in need.  Consequently, members have not only removed bruck collected by Redd Up groups but also tackled more remote areas voluntarily and assisted throughout the year, responding to reports of large items of bruck, such as buoys, washing up around the shores.”

With aquaculture and fishing industries reliant on the quality of our waters, and the damage marine litter can do to their operations, it makes sense they wish to keep our oceans and coastlines clean. The Trust already manages the local operations of KIMO International’s Fishing For Litter Scheme, which sees fishing boats land litter caught at sea for disposal. Partnering with Seafood Shetland to increase the impact of Da Voar Redd Up is another way in which the Trust can work with industry to care for our environment. 

Michael Tait, Owner and Operations Director of Shetland Mussels Ltd. said: "We farm in the sea and want to make sure we help to keep it clean and tidy for everyone, as well as take care of the environment we work in every day. While we have removed bruck collected by local Redd Up groups for a few years, this year we wanted to step up our effort and took a much more active role. Involving nearly all of our 15 staff, we covered quite a few km of coast line. Filling tonne bags and using our small boats made getting the material ashore quite efficient. Altogether we managed to get 65 person-hours into the clean-up from March to the end of June, and collected about 8 tonnes of bruck so we think it’s been worthwhile and are pleased to be a part of this excellent Shetland wide effort."

Mrs Goudie Added: “Even with the advancements made in equipment to reduce loss, such as new mussel lines without pegs, there is no getting away from the fact that a good proportion of what is gathered by our Redd Up groups annually originates from marine industries. However, by working with members of these industries we can increase the impact of both what they and the community of Shetland achieve clearing our landscapes of litter. Also, by engaging with the aquaculture and fishing industries in this way we can help them to change attitudes, helping reduce litter and increase involvement in these community activities.”

There was one remote area tackled this year which had been on the Amenity Trust’s radar for some time, Woodwick in Unst.  Members of the public had highlighted it for several years, stating that it would now be more appropriate to call it Plasticwick.  While there is a lovely walk to the beach, which is popular with locals and visitors, the logistics of Redding Up the area were not straight forward.  As there are lambing ewes, the crofter was not keen on having a beach clean during Da Voar Redd Up and it is also difficult to access by boat or quad, making bruck removal tricky. The Trust worked with the crofter and the local community to organise a Redd Up as part of UnstFest 2018. This was a great success, with 35 volunteers removing 640kg of bruck in two and a half hours, and the crofter using his machinery to transport the bruck for uplift by the Trust.  Local film maker Jack Irvine filmed the event, which the Trust recently released on its Dunna Chuck Bruck Facebook page. 

Another piece of bruck that proved difficult to remove this year was a large subsea buoy which washed up on a remote beach at Grutness. Both sea and air removal were not possible and the landowner did not have anything suitable to move it.  The Trust contacted local contractor Stuart Malcolmson, who kindly used his digger and tractor to get it to the Grutness pier for removal.

Mrs Goudie commented: “What the community of Shetland achieves year on year with Da Voar Redd Up always amazes me. Even when we are faced with difficult areas we try our best to do what we can and these links with industry, businesses and landowners are invaluable in enabling this. With over 68 tonnes of bruck collected this year it looks like marine litter will be plentiful for many years to come but, through working together to address the issues at source and on our coastlines we can all make a difference. Every piece picked up matters and I am thankful to all the volunteers, businesses, landowners and sponsors who give their time, resources, and money to support Da Voar Redd Up.”