THE ISLES OF SCILLY ENVIRONMENTAL TRUST

GETTING RID OF POLYESTER

We would like to thank all those who have assisted the Trust in clearing the polyester film washed ashore from the wreck of the Cita.  While the main outpouring has landed in Porth Hellick, there are now signs of the film on other beaches.  Most of the time we are able to keep up with the flow, but we have greatly appreciated the help given by both Islanders and visitors on a number of the Islands' beaches.  Unfortunately, this will be an ongoing task, and we hope that people will continue to assist us in this way - we are happy to supply all the necessary bags and gloves, and every bag filled will help to protect our outstanding landscape.

During the weekend of the strong winds at the beginning of June, not only was there a greater quantity of film washed up, but also large quantities of broken seaweed.  The two types of material were so intertwined that it was impossible to separate them and it became necessary to employ contractors to remove the strand line.  Once the seaweed and plastic have been separated from the sand, the sand will be returned to the Porth Hellick beach.  This had to be an exceptional remedy as the Trust would normally wish to preserve the seaweed strand line as a source of food for both insects and the birds that feed upon them.

Local divers and salvors have worked out a plan to raise as many rolls of the polyester film as possible.  Each roll weighs over two hundred kilos and contains several miles of film.  The cardboard centre tubes of the rolls are disintegrating, and, once soft, result in the roll collapsing and breaking up faster.  If all the film were unravelled and laid out it would easily cover the whole of Scilly both above and below the water.  It is extremely important that we recover as much as possible.  There are over three hundred rolls to find and bring up and the cost of the operation will be very high, without a great deal of hope that the money will be recovered from the ships insurers.

TO KEEP THE DUCKS SAFE

At Porthloo Pool the Trust has made a few changes to the seating and pedestrian area.  The new fence is designed to keep the ducks safer.  In recent months a number of the creatures have been either killed by dogs or run over.  We are asking people who wish to feed them, to do so on the concrete plinth and not on the grassed area or roadside.  There is a danger that if too much bread is left around, it will encourage more gulls and rats, who then attack the ducklings as well.  It is far better to restrict feeding to the plinth and not throw the food into the water, then if there is an excess it becomes obvious.  Guthrie Pender has put many of the ornamental birds on the pond and his hobby has provided an interesting attraction.  We hope that these arrangements will help to keep them safe so that they survive for everyone's enjoyment.
 
 
The Natural History Reference Library at the Trust office, is providing useful to both islanders and visitors.  So Far most 'finds' or sightings have been identified from the books already available and we hope to extend the library to include more subjects in the future.

Andrew Gibson


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