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CalMac staff get down to beach clean at Lunderston as Islands Book Trust prepares to launch book on MV Isle of Lewis

A group of community-spirited staff at west coast ferry operator, Caledonian MacBrayne [CalMac], is carrying out a clean-up at Lunderston Bay in Inverclyde.

The 11-strong group of volunteers are all employed at the company’s HQ in Gourock and were co-ordinated by organiser, Kimberley Stevens, from Greenock, who has been working in the company’s  travel trade department for 16 months.

As part of the Marine Conservation Society’s [MCS] Beachwatch campaign, a total of 42kgs of unsightly rubbish was removed from the shore and surrounding area.

Kimberley was interested in doing something for the benefit of the local community and the environment and has now become an MCS registered organiser. The group was also helped along the way by Clydemuirshiel Estate rangers Mike and John, and spent more than two hours combing the shoreline for litter and disposing of it safely.

Kimberley says: ‘It was a great day with a good turnout. The weather wasn’t great but we cracked on splitting into teams of two or three. After a safety briefing we headed out in our designated areas to start collecting.

‘Everyone was in good spirits and I actually had to go round telling everyone to head back to our meeting point, we were enjoying it and put effort in to make sure we were thorough.

‘As I am now a registered organiser for MCS, I may organise other events in the future and Mike, the ranger, was telling me of many different schemes we can be involved in, including tree planting etc.

‘It’s great to think we are helping look after our coastlines and helping preserve our marine life. I’m really thankful to Mike and John for all their help, and also Brian from Inverclyde Council, who arranged gloves, litter-pickers and gloves for us all.’

CalMac is also about to see published a book by Mark Nicolson n one the CMAL fleet of ferries it hires, MV Isle of Lewis, which has traditionally served the Western Isles route between Ullapool and Stornoway.

The book is published by the Islands Book Trust and the launch ceremony – to which everyone interested is invited – will be at the CalMac office on Oban’s harbourside, at 7pm on Saturday 6th August.

Author, Mark Nicolson, is to be joined at the event by CalMac’s in-house historian, Ian McCrorie.

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