Following an organised river bank clean up in May - when PC Mike Whyte organised a group of Banchory residents to assist with an afternoon’s work tidying up the river bank - it was decided to do a subsequent clear up later in the summer.
PC Whyte organised another afternoon’s work for volunteers on Sunday and River Dee Fisheries Development Officer, Ken Reid, again went along to participate.
He said: “I was really thrilled to see eight young men from Banchory put themselves forward to participate with the clear-up.”
Community learning worker Carol Douglas had persuaded them to help out. She said: “All eight of the young men are members of the Banchory Skate Park Development Group, co-ordinated by me, and their ultimate aim is to have a new skate park built in the village.
“In the meantime, they are taking up any opportunity to get more involved in volunteering work that enables them to contribute to their community. Their efforts can contribute to their completion of an MV Award Certificate and the volunteering part of their Duke of Edinburgh award.”
PC Whyte had again sourced littler pickers, refuse bags, safety gloves for the tidy up and provided a thorough risk assessment to the volunteers. They then proceeded to the River Bank at Banchory bridge and walked upstream, picking up litter for the next few hours.
Ken Reid said: “I have to admit to being quite distressed and shocked at seeing the amount of broken glass on the riverbank, where people have been discarding their empty beer bottles. The amount encountered was really hazardous to anglers, walkers, pets and, of course, our native wildlife. Anyone could unwittingly slip on the river bank and land on broken bottles and shards of razor-sharp glass.
“The landowners could be faced with demands for compensation if someone did have a nasty accident. I also thought that an animal like an otter or a family pet would have absolutely no chance of avoiding injury if it was traversing the river bank under the cover of darkness. Our visiting anglers, who enjoy fishing the river in the Banchory area, and who contribute significantly to the local economy, are meticulous about removing their litter from the countryside and putting their rubbish in their rucksacks etc. They just cannot understand why people can be so thoughtless about leaving such hazardous debris lying around on our river bank.”
The volunteers from the skate park worked diligently and carefully, removing dangerous debris from the river bank and were thanked for giving so generously of their time.
“I do hope the local people get behind this group of fine upstanding young men and help them get a skate park in the village,” said Mr Reid. “PC Whyte is to be applauded for his initiatives in trying to engage constructively with the local youths from Banchory. The team in the river office have a close working relationship with the local police force, and officers like Mike Whyte deserve recognition, respect and all our thanks for working diligently in trying to deliver a nicer, safer community for us all to enjoy.”