Moray paddle-boarders take stand against plastic waste in clean-up of River Lossie estuary
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A MORAY coastal club which has caught the wave of new paddle-boarding fans is urging paddlers to join a clean-up of the River Lossie estuary this month.
Moray SUP (Stand Up Paddle-boarding) Club is organising the river and beach clean in Lossiemouth on September 27 to support national action by Surfers Against Sewage in October to tackle the tide of plastic waste.
Surfers Against Sewage has organised the annual autumn clean-up since 2011. It says that post-summer is a time when the health of UK coastlines can slip from the nation’s consciousness.
Only set up in April, the Moray SUP Club has already attracted more than 70 members. The club is the first in Scotland to be affiliated with the Scottish Canoe Association.
One of the club founders, Jacqui Longrigg (48), an RAF reservist, said paddle-boarding was the fastest-growing sport in the UK.
Moray-based paddle-boarding enthusiasts have put themselves through British Canoeing coaching and leadership awards to be able to set up the club, which welcomes paddlers of all abilities, from novice to expert.
Jacqui added: "We see rubbish on the river every time we go out – plastic bags and bottles.
"We are so lucky here to have this coastal environment and it breaks my heart to see it littered. I'm always picking up Tesco bags and empty vodka bottles. A friend of mine actually came across a fridge in the River Lossie. It's so sad.
"There is a huge watersports community in Moray and we are putting this out to all able paddlers to see if they can help with our Paddle Against Plastic."
The group is asking self-sufficient paddlers who can assist on clean-up day to bring their own wetsuit, board, paddle and pump. Helpers are also asked to bring a quick release waist belt leash if they have one.
Gloves, bags and hand gel will be provided and the club's usual Covid-19 screening questions will also apply to this event.
A maximum of 30 cleaners will be divided into smaller groups of six to cover the area.
Helpers are asked to meet at 9.30am on Sunday, September 27, at the Lossiemouth East beach car park at Gregory Place. In the event of bad weather, the clean-up will be moved to the following weekend.
For more information see the club's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/moraysupclub .