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Community / Uncertainty remains over return of Da Voar Redd Up

Photo: Shetland Amenity Trust

IT sees thousands of folk come together in communities across Shetland, rubber gloves on and bags in hand, to clean the isles’ beaches and roadsides.

With coronavirus restrictions still affecting daily life, is little wonder then that uncertainty remains over whether Da Voar Redd Up will take place this year.

The annual springtime clean-up event was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, and question marks remain over whether it will go ahead in 2021.

Interim chief executive of organiser Shetland Amenity Trust Sandy Middleton said the status of the redd up this year is something she has been “grappling with”.

“Because of the way the redd up is designed it’s about large groups of people coming together,” she said.

“I’ve been working with the team to look at if we could adapt it and enable people to do mini redd ups, but the challenge is the logistics of picking up all the redd up bags when staff aren’t able to share vehicles and so on.”

When Da Voar Redd Up last took place in 2019 4,500 volunteers took part, with over 48 tonnes of rubbish collected.

A total of 240 groups of people participated – something which is not too agreeable with coronavirus restrictions, regardless of whether it takes place in the great outdoors.

“People have been great continuing their own beach cleans throughout lockdown and I’m keen to find a way to support that,” Middleton said.

“It’s a difficult one to plan for at the moment.”

Last year there was the additional problem of the dump in Lerwick being closed, meaning that if people were encouraged to do their own cleans there was no easy way to dispose of the bags.

People were instead encouraged to try the ‘Take Three from the Sea’ initiative, which invited folk to pick up at least three pieces of rubbish when out and about.

Shetland Amenity Trust, meanwhile, has now sold the former Enviroglass premises in Cunningsburgh after the property went on the market – although Middleton was unable to say what its future use may be.

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