Aberdeenshire Dee Fisheries Development Officer Ken Reid sent this nice story about a project organised by local Police Officer Mike Whyte.
It involved a second afternoon of work for eight young men from Banchory who put themselves forward to clear the banks of the Dee of a dangerous quantity of broken glass from beer bottles and other gunk and litter that had accumulated. The chaps are members of the Banchory Skate Park Development Group who’s ultimate aim is to have a skate park built in the village and their efforts also qualify as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award. Ken said: “Police Officer Mike Whyte had again sourced littler pickers, refuse bags, safety gloves for the tidy up and provided a thorough risk assessment to the volunteers.
“We then proceeded to the River Bank at Banchory Bridge and walked upstream picking up litter for the next few hours. I have to admit to being quite distressed and shocked at seeing the amount of broken glass on the river bank where people have been discarding their empty beer bottles. The amount encountered was really hazardous to anglers, walkers, pets and of course our native wildlife. Anyone could unwittingly slip on the river bank and land on broken bottles and shards of razor sharp glass. The land owners could be faced with demands for compensation if someone did have a nasty accident.
“Our visiting anglers who enjoy fishing the river in the Banchory area, and who contribute significantly to the local economy are meticulous about removing their litter from the countryside and putting their rubbish in their rucksacks etc. They just cannot understand why people can be so thoughtless about leaving such hazardous debris lying around on our river bank. I just wish people would stop and think before smashing beer bottles on the river bank if they really need to leave such a hazardous amount of waste lying around. If they can take beer bottles to the river bank, then when they have consumed the contents and the bottles are empty they can easily take them away and deposit these in the many rubbish receptacles provided in Banchory.
“Anyway the local heroes from the skate park worked diligently and carefully, removing the dangerous debris from the river bank, and were a delight to work with. I thank them for giving so generously of their time and I do hope the local people get behind this group of fine upstanding young men and help them get a skate park in the village. P.C Whyte is to be applauded for his initiatives in trying to engage constructively with the local youths from Banchory.”