More people than ever would remove litter from Fife beach, survey reveals

A new survey has revealed a huge increase in the number of local people who would pick up litter at a popular Fife beach.

Sunday, 17th October 2021, 2:59 pm

Keep Scotland Beautiful’s My Beach Your Beach campaign discovered that 85% of locals would be willing to pick up litter when visiting Kinghorn beach, in order to leave it cleaner than they found it - and that is a huge rise on the last survey which had the figure at 61%.

The campaign, which encouraged people to play their part in caring for the sand and sea, also recorded a 16% increase in the number of people who would consider changing habits at home or work, to keep drains and sewage pipes from blocking up and overflowing into our bathing waters -up from 31% last year to 47% at the end of this summer.

My Beach Your Beach has been running since 2018 to support bathing water quality improvements at a selection of Scottish beaches, including Kinghorn, Portobello and Fisherrow Sands on the east coast, and Ayr, Troon, Irvine and Saltcoats/Ardrossan on the west.

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Kinghorn Beach (Pic: Sandy Duncan)

The campaign encourages beach stewardship and raises awareness of bad habits that can impact on the sand and sea.

This includes leaving litter or dog poo on the beach, feeding and attracting gulls to the bathing water and blocking pipes by flushing ‘unflushables’ down the toilet or pouring fats, oils or greases down the drain.

Snapshot litter surveys carried out for the campaign by members of the Kinghorn Harbour Residents group counted 84 items of litter across 100m of the beach and prom, consisting largely of marine litter likely brought in by the sea.

This shows the importance of ongoing beach clean-up initiatives.

Past-times: A view of people enjoying the sunshine on the beach at Kinghorn in Fife

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This summer’s campaign was also successful in raising awareness of bathing water quality, with 62% of people reporting that they check the daily water quality forecast when visiting the beach, up from around 32% last year.

Georgina Massouraki, campaigns officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “My Beach Your Beach touches on a range of issues that all show how our habits and choices can impact on the local environment and natural spaces that we all share.

“It is very encouraging to see the positive outlooks of Kinghorn locals following this summer’ campaign and we hope that this lays a good foundation for ongoing engagement and awareness raising efforts to get everyone playing their part in protecting the sand and sea.”

Over the winter months, My Beach Your Beach will continue to engage people near the campaign beaches; particularly around indoor habits relating to pipes and drains in collaboration with local councils, businesses and schools.

A new classroom resource has been rolled out to local secondary schools to provide an introduction to bathing water quality at Kinghorn Harbour beach.

A writing assignment encouraging students to reflect on their favourite aspect of the beach and explain why that makes it worth protecting will be featured as part of the campaign going forward.

For more information about My Beach Your Beach visit – https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/mybeachyourbeach

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