Clean-up group celebrates 1000 bag milestone

From left, CleanFerry leader David Hutcheson, South Queensferry Rotary president Gordon Leith and CleanFerry volunteers Derek Hobson and Marina Shaw
From left, CleanFerry leader David Hutcheson, South Queensferry Rotary president Gordon Leith and CleanFerry volunteers Derek Hobson and Marina Shaw
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A COMMUNITY group spearheading a clean-up of South Queensferry has celebrated picking up more than 1000 bags of rubbish.

The milestone comes as CleanFerry marked its first anniversary since the group was started up by retired electrical engineer David Hutcheson.

Volunteers gathered at the Forth Bridge to celebrate the achievement, with the group’s 14-strong volunteer team having picked up a total of 1173 bags of litter over the past year.

According to their estimates this marks in excess of five metric tonnes of rubbish, not including larger individual items such as tyres, supermarket trolleys and old bicycles.

CleanFerry volunteer David McGuinness was among those who joined the festivities, calling the amount of waste lifted an “astonishing” result.

He said: “It was a milestone indeed and not just because of the anniversary and the revival of CleanFerry. It was just a great day. Since we have set up our Facebook page set up it’s made a massive difference.

“The number of people who have contacted us, not just businesses but people locally who want to get involved is phenomenal.

“We are blown away with it all, it’s gathering pace all the time now.”

Originally set up by Joyce Faulkner around 15 years ago, CleanFerry’s volunteers meet every five or six weeks to tackle litter hotspots in the Queensferry area.

The group was revived last February by Mr Hutcheson after Ms Faulkner retired.

“When you are looking around you think I want to do something about this – a few guys joined me [and] that was the start of it,” he explained.

“Last year we were getting about 70 to 80 bags a month of litter. In January we did quite a few litter outings or ‘blitzes’ so all the volunteers had 117 bags. It’s very rewarding.”

The 1000-bag celebrations were also attended by members of Queensferry Rotary, who handed out individual prizes to CleanFerry volunteers.

It comes just months after the volunteers joined forces with fellow community group GreenFerry, a registered charity which works to look after the area’s green spaces.

GreenFerry chairwoman Juliette Lee said the organisation’s shared ambition for a pleasant living environment made it a “natural fit” that they work more closely.

“It’s the same ethos,” she explained. “It’s the community working together to make it a beautiful place and an enjoyable place for everyone.

“It’s exciting as with a combination of both we have all these people so we want to get rid of all this rubbish and really make it a beautiful space. There’s a swell of people now and I think it will grow.”

More information about both organisations can be found on Facebook.

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk