Villagers rally round to clear Boddam of litter

Villagers in Boddam have been involved in an ongoing effort to keep their streets and coastline clear of litter and waste – with loads of bags of rubbish collected by the community.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 11:09 am
A dedicated team of volunteers braved blizzard conditions to clean up Bandi Pots and the old harbour areas.

As well as people making use of litter-picking equipment from the recently-installed clean-up station to clear up the area as part of their daily exercise, a weekend clean-up was held earlier this month down at Bandi Pots and the old harbour.

This resulted in a dedicated team of volunteers filling a skip and several bags of rubbish from the area – despite the unpleasant weather conditions.

Fiona James, Boddam Community Council secretary, said: “The big clean-up was down where there are rock pools. When I was a kid, we’d go down there with our fish nets and catch wee fish, but it’s just been used for bonfires and dumping rubbish, with rusting metal and nails left down ther, so we decided to use that as a kind of target area.”

The litter-picking team managed to fill a skip full of rubbish.

John Williamson 1988 donated a skip, while Keycraft in Peterhead provided hand sanitiser and wipes and SSE at the power station donated flasks so the volunteers could enjoy hot drinks.

And they certainly needed them as they picked the weekend of the recent snow for their litter pick!

Fiona said: “We actually put it off on the Saturday because we thought it was really icy down on the rocks. So we postponed it until Sunday at noon, and it was probably about 10 times worse! We were litter-picking in a blizzard!”

However, their efforts have made a real difference to the area, as have the efforts of many other people in the village who have been doing their own bit.

Young people have been keen to get involved and do their bit to keep Boddam clear of litter.

Fiona said: “We put the clean-up station in the village back in February, and because of the restrictions, it was based around people going out as part of their daily exercise and doing a litter pick on their own or with their ‘bubble’, and they’ve been encouraged to put a photo up on our Facebook page.

"We’ve just been pushing and promoting that, and it’s spiralled and spiralled.”

A lot of the rubbish collected in Boddam is marine litter, such as nets and creels, washed up on the shore.

"It’s obviously harmful to our environment,” said Fiona. “That’s the main push for what we are trying to do, to clean up the place and protect our marine wildlife."

Fiona added: “We ran a wee competition at Easter to try to get more kids involved, and it seems to have worked a treat.

"Morrisons and Asda donated Easter Eggs and we did competitions for the most litter picked and the strangest item found, and that got quite a few of the kids involved. It’s been really successful.

"The primary school has even been designing posters for us, so it’s been going from strength to strength.

"We started off thinking we’d be lucky to get a couple of people on board, but it’s been different age groups right across the community – there’s an 80-year-old involved, young kids, everyone seems to be getting involved.

"We’re probably averaging about 30 bags a week at the moment.

"It’s been a real commun ity effort. It’s been quite humbling.”