World Environment Day

It may have been a grey dreich day but it has been a wonderful day crossing Loch Broom.

rowing across from Isle Martin (2)

Two teams of people managed to successfully tow over 150m of litter off Isle Martin today, in celebration of World Environment Day. The thousands of pieces of litter were collected and joined together on the Back Beach of Isle Martin over the last two weeks.

skiff arriving on Isle Martin (2)
Thankfully the day started calm and warm though with light rain as the first team of Ullapool High School pupils arrived with Topher their teacher at 10.30am. After a very quick break for oranges and biscuits on the beach we carried the lines of plastic bottles and bottle caps down to the waters edge, where they were tied together and then onto the skiff.

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The line stretched over 75 metres behind the boat even though the bottles were light the drag they created , plus me being an extra person in the boat certainly made it a harder row back to were they had started from earlier. The team pulled together well and steadily and it was great to see a pupil steer us so well to Ardmair slipway through the moored boats and buoys. A great contribution to the project and to showing what we can do pulling together to care for the environment.

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Well done : Norman, Jake , Mairi, Mhairi and their teacher thanks also to the head teacher Robbie McFedries for coming out to cheer them in with Lesley Strachan their art teacher.

skiff arriving Ardmair (2)

As the school team headed for a hot chocolate in the campsite cafe the second team donned their life jackets and quickly took up their places in Cul Mor which was turning into a wonderful sociable place to be. Our second team was coxed by Merlin a director of the Isle Martin Trust, with all important oars people John (ecologist/engineer/invaluable project supporter), Bill ( Ullapool Museum volunteer), Lesley (Ullapool High School teacher) Anne ( member of the Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club) and myself (photographer)
Our row out was magical as the rain eased and we glided swiftly from the shores of the mainland to those of the Isle in wonderful monochrome light and mist.

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Ashore we selected the long blue lines of rope , plastic containers and threaded polystyrene to attach to the skiff . in a bid to get closer shots of the lines I took up the steering position. For this trip we had Cal on board as our living misquote in the bow of the boat with John.
On the return we kept up a steady pace followed at times by cormorants seagulls and we think possibly accompanied at one point by a minky whale. Quite an entourage to witness the litter being removed almost all of which must have been washed up on the island as its not been habited for years.

As we neared the mainland we saw that Dave (today’s photographer) had wonderfully returned to document our arrival   and a group of holiday makers keen to see and hear about our endeavors . So the World Environment Day  ( United Nations  World Environment Program)  message is spreading. To work together to make a difference no matter how small. Over the next few days I will tow the remaining litter lines off the Island and bag up the mounds of random materials that I couldn’t use and take across to the mainland to be picked up by the highland Council on Monday and in the coming weeks I will be tracking and reporting on the recycling journey each of the litter materials.

Many thanks to everyone  who joined me today to work hard and have fun celebrating  ‘World Environment Day’  – many more photographs of the event to follow over the next few days


Forecast : good

6am: Weather check : Calm,  overcast , drizzle, light breeze

Throughout the day we have a 60% chance of rain with wind speeds of up to 8mph  later from the North North East  NNE to North East  NE

So the Littoral World Environment Day Event will be happening very shortly! The first  Litter Lines will leave Isle Martin at approximately 10.45am today. Keep watching !

World Environment Isle Martin  map









Event Schedule

Litter Line event – Isle Martin – World Environment Day- 5th June 2014

08.00        Weather check confirm/reorganise
09.00        Prepare lines, refreshment s for rowers
10.00        School skiff team and boat arrive at Ardmair slipway
10.15         Row to Isle Martin Back Beach
10.45         Lines secured onto the skiff while skiff team have refreshmentso
11.15          Skiff sets off to Ardmair with lines and Julia
11.30         Skiff arrives at Ardmair slipway, lines pulled up. Skiff team thanked
12.00        2nd team arrives at Ardmair.
12.30         2nd team row back to Isle Martin
1.00          Break on the beach , lines attached
1.45           Row back to Ardmair slipway
2.15           Arrive at Ardmair lines hauled up stored for collection on Friday
3.00          Thanks and celebration (beach or Ardmair teashop)

Please ring Julia for confirmation , updates on times etc 07977997605

Final selection and planning ………..

The last few days  have involved tightly focused  collections from the beach in order to make sure that I only select the 12 items that I  selected to make my lines from,  to enable me to complete the  construction of  my lines before the ‘tow off’ on Thursday

casps in tray more bottles cord to stitch with  stitching

Commercial items such as rope , prawn boxes, gun cartridges, and domestic items such as bottles and  caps . The items are the most commonly washed up and the the ones that I have found  methods to simply link them together by piercing, drilling threading and stitching. The unselected litter such as the mounds of tangled rope and random objects will be bagged up and carried to the mainland in the boat. All the litter line and bags are to be picked up n Friday Morning by the Highland Waste Services

As I called a halt to more collections yesterday, I am now turning to testing making lines on the waterand organising where to take photographs from to capture the event.  And the all important letting people  know the where and when of the day.  A rough schedule will be posted today, please pass this information onto anyone you know who is involved.  For those following further afield please let people know about the event and support our World Environment Day by commenting on the blog and twitter @LittoralArt. She you tomorrw weather permitting!




Sunday Collection

This afternoon I had a wonderful visit from four Ullapool friends to assist me in making my Sunday collection of litter from the Back Beach.

Sunday collection

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It was great to have help to carry the plastic bottle lines already assembled back to the beach and to share what I have come to know about the beach with them and to discuss the sheer depth of the litter that pervades beaches like this even when they look seemingly clean. After many sweeps of the beach collecting bottles, caps, cans, ropes, gloves polystyrene, melted plastic we quickly sorted and carried our nets of objects back to my temporary workshop.

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By the end of the afternoon we had threaded over 300 caps onto approximately 25m of plastic cord and line before we  had a well earned snack before my friends boarded Johns elegant ‘ferry’ back across the loch. Watching them leave I wished for the loch to be as still as it is tonight on Thursday for towing the lines to Ardmair.