Published: 08/07/2018 13:00 - Updated: 06/07/2018 11:00

New Beauly group hopes to help the environment

Written byVal Sweeney


Beauly eco group
Jackie Thornhill and Nikki Mackenzie of the Beauly Eco Group hope to organise activities including river clean-ups.

Plastic waste and fly-tipping are among the problems to be highlighted by a fledging group hoping to improve the environment.

The Beauly Eco Group is the idea of residents Nikki Mackenzie and Jackie Thornhill.

They hope to join forces with other groups and individuals in the village to tackle a range of issues.

Initially, they plan to focus on clean-up events but ultimately would like to see areas of natural beauty restored.

They also want to set up a programme of accessible educational activities such as nature walks and pond dipping.

Ms Thornhill said they hoped to recruit a team of volunteers to get involved.

"We have a few concerns about the environment and what is happening in our oceans - and how Beauly contributes to that," said Ms Thornhill of Braeview Park.

"We want to prevent plastic, litter and any kind of rubbish endangering wildlife and entering the waterways and damaging the environment."

They are also keen to support agencies in flood prevention work including river clean-ups and tree planting.

"We have three targets this year," Ms Thornhill said.

"Firstly, we want to undertake clean-up events as it gets us noticed and makes the area cleaner.

"Secondly, we want to build partnerships with groups, club, shops and businesses.

"Thirdly, we want to begin a year two plan. We have to look ahead at we can do.

She acknowledged that work to try to improve the environment was already being carried out by other groups and organisations.

They have already been in contact with the village primary school, which has eco status, and the Beauly Men’s Shed which is planning to clear up the Lovat Memorial Garden and put in new bedding plants.

They hope to develop links with local businesses while other ideas include more cigarette stub boxes and a drinking water fountain although they accept the necessary funding would have to be found. 

Ms Mackenzie, of Viewfield Avenue, said although Beauly had the image of an attractive village, she felt there had been a noticeable increase in litter around the area.

"I think there is a lot more litter and fly tipping since Highland Council introduced charges for commercial vehicles disposing of waste while if you are ordinary Joe Bloggs you have to sign to say it is household waste," Ms Mackenzie said.

"I think a lot of people just cannot be bothered.

"Also, the council used to take things like mattresses away for free. Now you have to pay."

The Beauly Eco Group has set up a Facebook page where details of its activities will be posted.

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