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Caithness News Bulletins September 2005

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Despite the poor weather on Saturday afternoon (17 September 2005) , a group of hardy volunteers took part in the annual beach clean and monitor at Keiss beach.

The clean-up was organised by Rangers with The Highland Council's Planning and Development Service as part of the national Beachwatch event, the most extensive monitoring programme in Europe for coastal and marine litter.

Members of the Caithness Critters and the Caithness Countryside Volunteers braved the elements to help rid the beach of unsightly and dangerous litter. A small skip was filled to the brim and the types and quantities of litter were recorded for data collection by the Marine Conservation Society. This year at Keiss, plastic drinks bottles, rope and fishing net accounted for much of the debris.

During last year's Beachwatch weekend, over 3, 000 volunteers took part, cleaning and surveying 269 beaches, and collection over a quarter of a million items of litter, a clear signal that clean beaches are a matter of high concern to the UK public. The survey recorded an average of 1,897 items per kilometre surveyed on UK beaches, the equivalent of one piece of litter every 52 centimetres.

Marina Swanson, East Caithness Ranger and beach clean organiser said: "The volunteers did a fantastic job on Saturday and didn't let the weather dampen their spirits. A substantial amount of waste was removed and has made a great improvement to the beach for both recreational users and wildlife. Many thanks to all the volunteers for their efforts."