BEACH Buddies has expanded its network around Britain by setting up connections in the Scottish highlands and islands, with a number of new groups established in the first week of its two-week visit to the north.
The charity has created links with schools and environment groups in the Outer Hebrides, the Isle of Skye and the Loch Ness areas, and is now setting its targets next week on Glasgow and the Lake District.
Beach Buddies has also made a brief appearance in Glasgow during the COP26 conference and intends to create new connections in the region during the second week of its visit to Scotland, and then later in the week in the Lake District.
Founder Bill Dale has been leading the visit and is encouraged by the response from the Scottish people. “I’m really encouraged by the response we have had, and really surprised by how many people already knew about Beach Buddies, even though they are such a long way away from us,” he said.
“I think the Celtic links and the connections between islands such as through the Island Games has also made a big difference. When we visited Skye in particular we had a brilliant response from the people. They have problems with marine litter not unlike we had many years ago, and they want to see the world change. People are onside and want to make a difference.
“I think the COP26 conference has also made a big difference. It has been on Scottish television and online 24-7 this last week and everyone is making their voice heard. These are times of positive and, I hope, genuine change and it makes you feel very positive about the future, especially with the recent House of Keys election seeing so many of our new MHKs being elected on policies relating to the environment.
“I wasn’t 100% sure about the response we could expect in Scotland, but it has been just excellent. I’m really looking forward to our second week and spreading the word even further.”