Scilly’s AONB Calls On Others To Support Beach Cleans

beach clean copyThe manager of the Scilly’s AONB says other organisations need to “step up to the plate” to support beach cleans on the islands.

Trevor Kirk was speaking at yesterday’s Joint Advisory meeting, which brings together partners of the AONB, such as the Wildlife Trust and the Duchy, to discuss ongoing projects and management.

He said the recent resignation of Clare Lewis, who regularly organised litter picks of the shoreline, had left a big hole in the work.

They were struggling to provide further resource for these activities, he said, although he acknowledged the Wildlife Trust had been helping.

Chairman Johann Hicks praised Clare’s work, saying it was valuable and something that wasn’t generally appreciated by the community.

But Johann said it was disappointing how many locals turn out, noting that only two islanders came to the second of the recent St Agnes beach cleans.

Zoe Julian says this wasn’t her experience on St Martin’s, though, where they regularly get a good response from residents.

Trevor said the AONB had struggled to attract both visitors and locals in recent years.

Trevor suggested aiming for Blue Flag status for the beaches, which would inspire people to keep them clean, although IFCA officer Steve Watt suggested achieving this status could be difficult in some areas, such as Porthcressa.

Clean ups could also be combined with more ‘fun activities’ like rock pool rambles, he said, or local businesses and organisations could adopt a beach.

That was supported by Marian Bennett, who called for a return to the old system where individual residents took responsibility for certain beaches on St Mary’s and the off-islands.

She felt that some locals tend to stand back now, because they feel it’s “all taken care of.”

Trevor said the AONB would now be less “hands on” and instead do more promotional work.

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