St Andrews community beach clean

Tuesday 28 October 2008

Following the success of a community beach clean this summer, staff and students from the University of St Andrews are calling on volunteers to help tidy up the local landscape.

Eco-volunteers will gather on the West Sands on Sunday 2nd November to embark upon this second event as part of a long-term effort to promote the importance of keeping the town’s beaches clean.

In June, almost sixty volunteers helped in the first community beach clean, filling 77 black bags with debris including nine pieces of wood, five litres of diesel in a plastic bottle, two fish crates, one barrel and a single Wellington boot.

However, the star find was uncovered by Mary Steven, a mature student at the University and member of staff at ELT (English Language Teaching) who stumbled across a message in a bottle, dispatched to sea twenty-three years ago.

As an eleven year old boy in 1985, Donald Wylie tossed a bottle off the coast of Deerness in Orkney, with a message asking its finder to track him down.   Almost a quarter of a century later, Donald was reunited with the bottle which eventually washed up hundreds of miles away on the West Sands in St Andrews.

Organisers from the University and Fairmont St Andrews Hotel launched a search to find the sender and were delighted to track him down – still living in Orkney and a house builder.  When Donald confirmed the story, the organisers invited him to St Andrews to collect the bottle and see for himself where it eventually surfaced.

The story appeared in a number of local and national newspapers and provided positive publicity for the community beach clean, the town and its residents.

Environment Officer, Susan Horsman said, “As a coastal town, we all know that St Andrews’ beaches are a valuable asset to both the residents and visitors to the area.  We all want to be proud of St Andrews’ beaches and with the help of volunteers we can make that happen.

“Some students have already signed up to help on 2nd November and with enough support we not only hope to clean the West Sands and dunes but also have a small group at the Castle Sands beach.

“With the support of our local businesses and residents we hope that our Community Beach Clean will become a bi-annual event.  All you’ll need to bring is yourself, family, friends and your rubber gloves!”

The beach clean will take place on Sunday 2nd Nov from 10.30 – 1.00pm on the West Sands.

If you are keen to take part please register at [email protected] by the end of October.


Susan Horsman is available for interview on 01334 463986 or [email protected]


Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Fiona Armstrong, Press Officer on 01334 462530 / 462529, Mobile: 07730 415 015 or Email: [email protected]

Ref:  beach clean 281008
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