Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Sea Champion Jane helps give Inner Hebridean Isle the coastal clean up of a lifetime

50 miles of Colonsay is now free from decades of debris!

Sea Champion Jane Rose has helped clean almost every inch of the island's coastline, clearing away litter left on the beaches by centuries of incoming and outgoing tides.

Jane has lived on the island for seven years was a regular beach cleaner during the project which began in March on the island's west coast and finished in mid-August at the same point.

The five and half month initiative, which cleaned 50 miles of the islands coast and filled 1,130 bags of rubbish, was supported by the Colonsay Community Council and co-ordinated by islander, Kevin Byrne.

Jane was one of a number of islanders who attended almost every cleaning session which took place for a couple of hours every Saturday of Sunday and says she was delighted to be involved.

"To think we cleaned about 98% of the island, only failing to get to a few steep gullies that were inaccessible, is pretty amazing. Now that we've got rid a lot of the of the very old rubbish, including bottles from the 1920's, massive tyres, drums of burned oil, TVs, beer barrels and fridges, we can concentrate on the litter that is either dropped or washed up now."

Jane, a beach litter artist, also found a number of bottles with messages in "one from as far away as Roddickton on the north east tip of Newfoundland from a four year old boy on summer camp there. A reply was sent and there was great excitement from the little boy and his family who we kept in contact with for a while." All the bottles and messages can be seen at www.janerose.co.uk

Jane's passion for the sea is what drove her to become a MCS Sea Champion: "I'm fascinated by the variety of objects I collect from Colonsay beaches everyday but horrified that so much litter ends up in the sea causing harm to wildlife, polluting the oceans, not to mention spoiling our beautiful beaches. I hope my work encourages people to reflect upon these issues and at the same time, hopefully, raise an awareness of this problem."

Jane and her fellow beach cleaners intend to keep the coastline clear of new deposits of rubbish on a regular basis - and repeat the full coastal clean-up in 2014. Fortunately it will be much easier then, because this year they had to deal with an accumulation since the dawn of time!

Some of the ways Jane and Kevin cleared litter from Colonsay

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