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Big Mac on a Caithness beach?


By David G Scott


IT might be difficult to order a McDonald's meal in the county, considering the nearest outlet is Inverness – but that didn't stop a discarded cup from the fast-food chain landing on a beach near Castletown.

Zoe Doran was out collecting litter from beaches in her local area when she came across the cup.

A cup from a McDonald's fast-food outlet was found at a beach near Castletown. The nearest McDonald's restaurant is over 100 miles away.
A cup from a McDonald's fast-food outlet was found at a beach near Castletown. The nearest McDonald's restaurant is over 100 miles away.

"I found it at the top of the beach at the Battery Walk near Castlehill Heritage Centre," said Zoe, who was gathering rubbish for the Caithness Beach Cleans (CBC) group.

The CBC volunteers have been busy after a period of downtime during recent storms.

Dorcas Sinclair, who leads the group, confirmed that over 400lb of plastic litter was picked up in one day by the various members a fortnight ago.

"To be precise, 401.4lb of plastic was removed from local beaches," she said. "There were 16 beach visits by about 20 people."

Beaches cleaned by the volunteers at that time included Castletown, Murkle, Sandside, Thurso East, Dunnet, Scarfskerry, Ackergill, Burnside, Strathy, Brims, Freswick and the Castle of Mey beach.

"Lots of very windy weather was experienced with litter blowing back out of bags, people being blown down beaches, hats taking off and the waves having the tops blown off of them," Dorcas said.

"We have now picked up more than three tons this year alone and are on course for 12 tons in one year."

Beach cleaning at Freswick.
Beach cleaning at Freswick.

In the space of a year the CBC Facebook group has gone from two members to 600.

Members post photos of the rubbish they pick from the beaches and measure the weight so it can be tallied up towards the grand total for the group.

Dorcas and her team of 10 picked up 970.3lb of plastic from around the shore at Keiss Castle at the weekend and had a celebration picnic afterwards – though no Big Mac meals were included.

And the CBC volunteers have plenty to celebrate with Sunday's tally being 1081.2lb and the total picked up for this year alone being exactly four tons.

David Thompson holding up a bag to be weighed for the Caithness Beach Cleans group. Picture: Stevie Bruce
David Thompson holding up a bag to be weighed for the Caithness Beach Cleans group. Picture: Stevie Bruce

"Since we started we have picked up an amazing 12.55 tons," Dorcas said.

Anyone interested in joining the beach clean group should visit its Facebook page.

There will also be a CBC pop-up shop on Princes Street in Thurso on March 13 and 14 themed as "From the Sea" with various artworks for sale to support the group.



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