As custodians of our local landscape, our Café Manager, Colin McGeoch, was inspired to start a monthly litter picking, the first of which coincided with Zero Waste Scotland’s Keep Scotland Beautiful Campaign (28th May – 20th June).
On our first litter pick that took place on 30th May we were blown away by the support from off duty team members, locals, regulars and Flingers from the Highland Fling Race. A bunch of the Tyndrum 24 runners came to our second one and some West Highland Way racers will be joining our July pick. We are very grateful for the support shown from these organisations.
We provide hi-vis jackets, litter pickers and bags for all of our volunteers and with great enthusiasm from everyone involved, we managed to collect 28 sacks of litter which weighed 125kg!
The vast majority of the litter was crisp packets, bottles and cans which could not only posed a danger to local wildlife in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, but also it makes the area unsightly. It is extremely important for rural areas to remain clean, as rural businesses rely so heavily on tourism. If the area looks like a dumping ground, tourists will be put off visiting. Keeping the area looking beautiful is vital right now.
Our second litter pick happened on 27th June and we collected a further 89kg! Our owner, Sarah and her 83-year-old mum took part in this one, we even had some children as young as eight get involved. There were also volunteers who travelled from Clackmannanshire and Glasgow by bus. Rubbish collected comprised the usual mountain of empty bottles, crisp packets and wet wipes, along with a tent, deckchairs and disposable barbeques. There was an appalling amount of rubbish left near the Crianlarich by-pass and around Loch Iubhair where we tidied up but left a further 18 sacks of rubbish. This time round, it was the rise in the number of people leaving disposable barbeques behind that is a worry, they’re quite dangerous, sharp and if not put out properly could cause major damage to the area.
We thank each and every one of our volunteers for giving up their free time to help us, we really do appreciate it.
Each monthly litter picking session will take place 11am – 1pm. You will meet at the meeting point at 10:15am, where our team will be on hand with your kit and explain health and safety to you. We are rewarding volunteers with free tea, coffee and home baking to keep up morale during the pick, plus a serving of our award-winning fish and chips!
Interested in taking part? Here is a list of our litter pick dates:
Sunday 25th July
Sunday 29th August
Sunday 26th September
Sunday 31st October
The next litter pick from The Real Food Café will be Sunday 25th July, please send us a firstname.lastname@example.org if you are hoping to take part as we have 20 spaces for volunteers, with full instructions and meeting points circulated beforehand.