Volunteer clean-up

Volunteers with the pile of rubbish collected from the shore on the Isle of May. April 2014
Volunteers with the pile of rubbish collected from the shore on the Isle of May. April 2014

Volunteers working to get the Isle of May ready for the forthcoming visitor season found they had a ‘rubbish’ start to their week.

After a choppy and wet trip over to the island, the six helpers, all from Scottish National Heritage, were given the first task of clearing rubbish that had accumulated at Pilgrims Haven over the winter.

And as pictured, what a haul they found on the 50-metre stretch of beach - more than 200 plastic bottles, six lobster creels, a car wheel, a bike wheel, a toilet cistern, a ‘men at work’ sign, a fire extinguisher, nine tennis balls and seven big sacks of general rubbish.

“It always horrifies me the amount of rubbish that accumulates over the winter from our seas,” reported David Pickett, manager of the Isle of May National Nature Reserve.

He added: “All this rubbish is a physical hazard to wildlife, only a couple of winters ago a seal pup died when trapped in a creel on Pilgrims Haven, but also more subtlety poisons the marine life living around the island.”