Posts

Terry McTernan, Darkwood Crew

Local volunteer group the Darkwood Crew have become one of 18 anchor groups in Scotland who support Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Upstream Battle campaign.

The campaign aims to prevent litter from entering the River Clyde and each group undertakes a key role by carrying out regular litter surveys and litter picks along the River Clyde or one of its tributaries.

Terry McTernan, Darkwood Crew

This data is used by Keep Scotland Beautiful to provide a picture of the litter problem along the Clyde Valley to give an understanding of how litter ends up in our waterways and informing future solutions.

The Darkwood Crew are the latest addition to the campaign alongside Brighter Bothwell in South Lanarkshire, Queens Cross Housing Association in Glasgow and 86th Boys Brigade in East Renfrewshire.

Terry McTernan, Darkwood Crew, said: “Our volunteers are really excited to return to our core purpose of getting outdoors and improving our local environment. We truly believe that a greener more sustainable world begins with greener more sustainable communities.”

As keen supporters of Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign, the group regularly litter pick around their local area of Ferguslie in Paisley.

Darkwood Crew

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Litter can be so damaging to our waterways and the local environment, so it is fantastic that the Darkwood Crew are carrying out this much-needed role as part of the Upstream Battle campaign.

“They’re an inspiring group of volunteers and are doing Renfrewshire proud. I’m looking forward to see the results of their work and the solutions it helps bring forward to make our waterways cleaner and safer in the future.”

The groups will receive advice and support from Keep Scotland Beautiful along with access to a bespoke version of the charity’s innovative climate emergency training.

Heather McLaughlin, Campaigns Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: “We would like to thank the four new Anchor Groups for joining our battle against marine litter in the Clyde Valley. Their support and work allow us to develop a unique picture of the potential for litter to enter the River Clyde.

“Our recent report, Time for a new Approach to Tackling Litter, shows that we are heading towards a litter emergency, so the information our Anchor Groups provide for the River Clyde will ultimately allow us to better understand littering trends and behaviour, and how to tackle them.”

The addition of four new Anchor Groups to the Upstream Battle campaign has been made possible thanks to funding from Crown Estate Scotland.

Campbell Gerrard, Senior Policy Manager at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “Litter poses a real threat to marine wildlife, their habitats and to people’s enjoyment of the areas where they live and work. That’s why it’s great to have four new anchor groups involved in the campaign, helping prevent rubbish entering our seas and improving the health of the River Clyde and its catchment.”

More information about each of the four new Anchor Groups, as well as the existing 15, can be found at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/upstream-battle/citizen-science/anchor-groups

Clyde walkway after being tidied

Renfrewshire experienced a Spotless September as hundreds of volunteers joined the Team Up to Clean Up campaign once again, with the aim of making their community a little brighter.

Clyde walkway after being tidied

The now annual Spotless September event saw 1,233 bags of litter removed from the local environment as 225 litter picks were undertaken by dedicated volunteers and community groups – equating to more than seven litter picks every day throughout the month of September.

Volunteers took to the streets in almost every community in Renfrewshire, including Erskine, Renfrew, Paisley, Johnstone, Bishopton, Houston, Bridge of Weir Foxbar, Elderslie, Inchinnan, Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch – and some even took to the water to clean the River Cart in Paisley.

James McCabe James McCabe dressed up for his litter pickdressed up for his litter pick

Erskine volunteer Stephen Hughes said: “I really just wish people would stop dropping litter and take more pride in where they live, especially our school children.

“I would rather be doing something else with my time, but I really do value living in a clean and attractive neighbourhood and helping clean up keeps me busy and active.

“The Team Up to Clean Up Facebook community is also a pleasure to be part of, it’s great to see so many people making a difference.”

Working with the community, Renfrewshire Council provided volunteers with litter pickers, bibs, bags and any other safety equipment they required, and volunteers were provided with health and safety advice for carrying out litter picks, including group sizes and physical distancing.

The council’s StreetScene team took away the collected rubbish too and this took place alongside the council’s increased litter picking, gully clearing and road sweeping which forms a key part of the Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “What a month it has been and another fantastic Spotless September.

“While the current situation meant we couldn’t hold any large-scale events, it’s been heartening to see the desire of our Team Up to Clean community to continue making a difference.

“Hundreds of volunteers have headed out on their own or in small groups to clear hundreds of bags of litter from our communities and each with the same goal of making Renfrewshire a better place to live, work and visit.

“We’re working hard to change the mindset of those who think it’s acceptable to litter so please let’s keep working together to make Renfrewshire litter-free.”

The award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign has grown substantially since it was launched in 2017 and now boasts more than 1,500 members in its online Facebook community group.

The campaign brings the council and community together to help tackle littering, dog fouling and a range of other environmental issues and the joint approach continues to thrive in Renfrewshire.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.