Banishing the litter

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A few volunteers braved the wet weather on Sunday to take action against litter in Banchory.

The Bonnie Banchory team thanked those whose efforts helped the town look tidier, although there was an absence of youngsters taking part, despite a well-received assembly on the subject at Banchory Academy just last week.

A Bonnie Banchory spokeswoman said: “Unfortunately, many people who use areas such as Bellfield Park and the river bank, do not think to take their litter home - as was illustrated by the photo in last week’s Piper.

“Litter is unsightly and it causes a damaging affect on the enjoyment of these areas by others and on our environment.”

The litter pick was a chance for local people to raise awareness that littering is unacceptable and to give the community a sense of civic pride.

The spokeswoman said police in Banchory were hoping youngsters who use the riverbank by the golf course, in particular, would be inspired by the assembly two of their officers had given at the academy, but none volunteered or came to help.

Councillor Jill Webster joined three policemen and Ken Reid, River Dee fisheries development officer, to clean-up this area and a large number of bin bags of rubbish was collected.

“We retrieved several bags of rubbish - mostly bottles and cans - from the river bank,” she said. “There is an issue with our young people in Banchory, as there is everywhere else, drinking too much alcohol at too young an age and the riverbank is a popular spot where young people gather.

“However, I do fear the consequences and there are several other initiatives looking at this locally. I had hoped to see some young people join us for the litter pick after the well-received talk they had received from the fishery representative.”

Two families joined the litter pick at the Hill of Banchory Primary School and tidied areas around the school and some of the paths towards Tesco - collecting nine full sacks of litter - where they were treated to tea and cake.

A few volunteers tackled Bellfield Park and the area towards Morrisons and one mentioned that she was shocked at the amount of broken glass she picked-up in the park - very dangerous in areas where young children play.

Councillor Karen Clark, who is on the Bonnie Banchory committee, joined the litter pick at Bellfield Park.

“I was pleased to see that a few hardy souls did turn out despite the weather,” she said. “We have a lovely town and the council do very well keeping it tidy, but I am still shocked to see the amount of litter that is generated. This year, members of the committee tried to scour the Bellfield car park. It took them two hours to gather three bags of cigarette butts between them and there are still many left both in the car park and in the park itself.

“This is something that can be easily rectified if people weren’t so thoughtless as to just toss their cigarettes on the ground. Hopefully, this kind of event will get the message across to think before you drop litter. The community is rightly proud of its town and working closely with the Bonnie Banchory team, I know all about their hard work which makes our environment so pleasan.”

Christina Brown, Bonnie Banchory co-ordinator added: “Litter is everybody’s problem. There is no way that Banchory would win a silver medal at the moment. The streets are littered with cigarette butts. We have all got a responsibility and I think if we all contribute to tackling the problem, then litter can be reduced in our community.”