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Community / Redd Up returns after year off

Photo: Shetland Amenity Trust

SHETLAND’S annual spring clean Da Voar Redd Up is set to return this year after being cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organiser Shetland Amenity Trust said it has been working on ways to make the event more efficient and Covid-safe for volunteers who wish to participate.

The event, which will operate a little differently than usual, will take place over 24-30 April.

This year the trust has joined forces with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) to deliver the event and has made a number of changes, including the introduction of an online interactive map as well as a digital system for recording important data on the litter that is collected.

All volunteers, including those who have previously participated in Da Voar Redd Up, must now register in a household/support bubble through the MCS Beachwatch website.

Here they can select the beach they want to clean via an interactive map. Once registered, volunteers can pick up a pack of 10 bags from the contact-free box outside Shetland Museum and Archives.

During the Redd Up, volunteers are encouraged to complete a survey on the MCS website.

Roadside cleaning is still encouraged but there is currently no facility for registering/surveying roadside bruck.

One of the Voar Redd Up organisers Ali Robertson said: “We knew that with the Covid restrictions, we would need to reduce our regular large groups down to households only, so re-registering groups was always going to be a necessity.

“Marine Conservation Society already have an easy-to-use registration database for doing beach cleans and surveying results, so it makes so much sense to collaborate with them.

“The most exciting part of this relationship is that when Da Voar Redd up volunteers do their surveys through MCS this year, the information will now contribute to UK-wide data of the bruck that is coming ashore in Britain.

“This data can then be used by MCS to influence government policies and legislations that can limit the amount of a specific type of rubbish entering our seas.”

Tara Proud, volunteer and community engagement manager at the Marine Conservation Society, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with the Shetland Amenity Trust during Da Voar Redd Up to clear Shetland’s beaches of bruck and collect really valuable data.”

Other changes to Da Voar Redd Up this year include extended event dates to prevent many groups congregating on a beach at the same time, and changes to the bruck collection by Shetland Islands Council, which means full redd-up bags must be securely placed on a regular SIC rubbish collection route.

For further details of these changes as well as all information on how to sign up for Da Voar Redd Up visit here or see the Dunna Chuck Bruck Facebook page.

Shetland Amenity Trust reminded volunteers to stick to the most recent government guidance on hand hygiene, lockdown restrictions, social distancing, travel limitations, and household mixing.

The trust also thanked volunteers and organisations supporting Da Voar Redd Up 2021, including Marine Conservation Society, Shetland Charitable Trust, EnQuest and Shetland Islands Council.