The S Team return to Scapa

Today the Glaitness S Team set off for Scapa again.
This time it was Class 7 and Class 5 who walked to Scapa Beach to remove marine litter.
With the help of some parents we managed to fill 20 bags of various sizes and types of litter and remove dangerous plastics from the beach which might entangle marine creatures or which might be mistaken for food by them. Class 7 were able to tell Class 5 children how plastics don't biodegrade and break down harmlessly - they are around forever, just in smaller and smaller pieces!
Searching the strand lines.
 Along the high tide line we found some larger pieces of plastic debris and countless amount of fragments of nylon and plastic rope. There was also a significant number of dead birds and bird feathers and bones which made us wonder if some of the tangled balls of plastic fibres had already been ingested by birds, killed them and then been left behind after the birds had died and decomposed. Did you know that on average there are 30 pieces of plastic in the stomachs of birds?
Jenni explains her job.
 We met Jenni and Kate who came to tell us about how they check on the biodiversity on the shores around Orkney. Jenni is a marine biologist and she finds out about the variety of living things on the beaches and if pollution is affecting them.
She showed us how they take a sample from a sandy beach like Scapa, where at first it might appear to be nothing living there at all.

First they take a sample by pushing a tube into the sand and lifting out the core.

The sand is sieved in the sea water.

Any living things are left behind.
These are the creatures that the sea birds are poking into the sand to find.

We had a look at the tiny animals in the petri dish.

Sue tells us about some of the natural things we found.

20 bags full! Well done the S Team!!!
Many thanks to the parent helpers and our experts for coming along. Thanks also to the Council Waste Management Services for arranging for our green bags to be taken away!
Watch this space for the installation of our 1100 litre bin!


  1. Thank you very much for your work on our behalf. I have learned so much about the effect of marine litter from you. I walk along a watercourse which feeds into the sae at Kirkwall Day every day. Because of you, I am now aware of the dangers of litter finding their way into wildlife habitiats. I remove what I find as I walk now. Ms Dennison.

    1. Oops! I should have read what I wrote.
      Find the mistakes, they should read -
      sea, Bay, its.
      :) Ms D