Saturday night in

premier 1

After an afternoon recording litter on Ullapool’s North East  Beach I am now sat in my van with my faithful companion Cal, previewing a  presentation of my years littoral journey  which I’m  projecting onto the rocking van walls – as gale force winds continue to blow onshore. The  driving rain and the crashing waves hitting the  Port A Bhaigh beach a few hundred metres away, are providing a dramatic additional sound track to the sequence of images I’m reviewing .

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I hadn’t planned tonight’s  preview but it feels  serendipitous, as  the Port A Bhaigh  beach is where my story began in 2012 and where on a much calmer day in May this year I and many volunteers spent the afternoon filling over tens of  bags of rubbish. Thankfully the beach survey today in Ullapool recorded far less litter and our band of ten volunteers were glad only to be needing to fill 9 bags of litter  as the persistent south westerly showers hurled themselves at us throughout the afternoon.

Beach survey 1
This is the 2nd  Beachwatch survey we have carried out , the information we are collecting is going off to the Marine Conservation Society to add to the all important knowledge bank of what’s happening where .

beach survey 6  Beach survey 5 Beach survey 3 Beach survey 2

Our hope is that next year Ullapool will be able to undertake the survey in the same week as the national & international Beach Watch event which takes place in  September. So please come along next autumn, even in the wild weather we all had a good afternoon and made new friends keen on looking after our environment. Many thanks to Tom , Debbie, Sara, Lesley, John, Ron, Rowen, Ellen   & Maria for coming along.

Beach survey 4

My presentation of  littoral event images  over the past year will be taking place on Monday night at Ullapool Museum  7.30pm. Everyone is welcome , your feedback will be much appreciated. Thanks to Black Reiver Consultancy for the loan of the pocket projector.

Rocking in Ross-shire

Dramatic arrival back in Ross-shire – as the tail end of hurricane Gonzalo hits the coast, I am sat editing my presentation and making notes for funding applications in my ‘office’ which is being rocked by the Westerly winds which are beginning to hit the coastline, it’s a great reminder as to the power of  nature and the need to find shelter soon. Certainly tonight I will be looking for a much quieter location to park.

Rocking in Ardmair 2

Along the beach two people are braving the storm busily collecting many bags of seaweed, brave souls and they remind me that on  Saturday  the SYHA & I have planned Ullapool’s 2nd official beach survey & clean. It would be great if the weather calmed and the sun burst through to encourage people to join us  below Pollan Park in Ullapool at 2pm, strong shoes and warm weatherproof clothing essential.

MCS beach survey & clean LRl

The information we gather will be passed onto the Marine Conservation Society national beach watch statistics to enable comparisons to be made between various locations along the coast and between years.  Last year over 800 pieces of litter were collected  including  45 carrier bags, 85 pieces of fishing line & net , our 8 sacks of litter  weighed over 35kg collected from just 100m of beach.  In theory as the beach was cleaned comprehensively last year, there should be  much less litter to record this year, either way there will be a warm welcome and refreshments at the SYHA  after the event .

blue bag

It will be interesting next year to see if there has been any reduction in the number of plastic carrier bags we find along Ullapool beaches after the introduction today of the mandatory charge on one time use bags. On this morning’s 200m standline walk I counted 9 bags.


Invitation 2nd version

As my
Littoral Art Project  and I have now completed a years work  investigating beach litter I am busy editing through the hundreds of images  taken while carrying out the many events along the Ross-shire  coast. My aim is to put together a thought provoking visual presentation of the ‘story so far’ , the  30 minute show  will include highlights such as :

The background to how the Future Fossil Collection was created

Young peoples discovery that a plastic bottle might be around longer than them

The curious appearance of oranges on local beaches

Tales from Ullapool High School’s Beach CSI Team

Her stay as Artist in Residence on Isle Martin & developed her rowing career

Her collection of not fantastic plastic

The achievement of two skiff teams on World Environment Day

Her continued close relationship with Scotland’s’ Waste Transfer Stations

Ullapool Museum  & I hope that supporters of the project will be able to join us on either Monday 27th at 7.30pm or Wednesday the 29th at 11.30am to enjoy the visual presentation of the Littoral Arts/Science Project which led to the creation of the Museum’s recent exhibition Future Fossil Collection. The events are free and refreshments will be served.

My intention is to continue to create artworks & events  on our beaches with the aim of encouraging people to take greater care of our coastal and  marine environments.

With this in mind the Ullapool SYHA and I are planning the second annual beach clean of the Ullapool beach below An Pollan Park  on Saturday the 25th October. Please join uson the beach at 1.30 pm