Coastal Walks – Port Arthur, Scalloway – Nesbister

Sob. I was going to start this blog with a string of expletives, because this is one of the most upsetting walks I have been on, I did not feel the usual emotional uplift on this walk that I normally do and I really expected a beautiful walk on the westside. I take the occasional beach full oh plastic pollution with a sad but hopeful fantasy that we are learning to be more thoughtful with our litter louting and becoming more environmentally aware. However on this walk ***!?!***. This travesty began not far from Port Arthur, out by the Point of the Pund along Shalder’s Ayre (poor birds) the Ness of Burwick and all along the east side of the Whiteness Voe right up to Nesbister.

Despite a profusion of Primula vulgaris, enough to cheer anyone up! I would have enjoyed my first sightings of the leaves of – Pinguicula vulgaris (Common Butterwort), Viola riviniana (common Dog-violet), Cochlearia officials subsp.scotia (Common Scurveygrass), and Caltha palustris (Marsh-marigold) – if I hadn’t been assaulted with the disgusting profusion of sea and land borne pollution. The potentially beautiful landscapes and habitats and beaches were covered in millions of tiny polystyrene balls, plastic detritus, containers and bottles – still full of suspect liquids, miles of rock wrapped with (large) pieces of fishing net, mussel farming buoys, fishing boxes in every colour, boots, shoes, shredded plastic bags, …. I guess there is no point in continuing.

Clearly a lot of this junk is recent, so shame on us all for allowing this to happen. I know there is a fair mixture of foreign debris and ship discharge, but we can clearly blame (some) fishermen and crofters for their lousy environmental responsibility, this is very apparent in the type of litter that was around, so I feel no shyness at pointing a finger in this instance.

© Copyright Diane Garrick