This week's Weather Man Walking on BBC Wales features Derek on his walk from Saundersfoot to Amroth with Bertie the Sea Bass being the star of the show - so as its my home patch here is the full story
Bertie forms the centrepiece of the award winning The Sea Litter – Take Action project led by the Amroth Community Council, in collaboration with Saundersfoot Community Council. This was a community response to the United Nations Clean Seas Challenge, the Visit Wales Year of the Sea 2018 and the public concerns raised by Blue Planet 2.
Its aim was to raise awareness and change behaviours to reduce marine litter, while promoting the both communities as environmentally friendly destinations. Following community consultation on the ideas, Amroth CC secured funding support from EU Leader Rural Development fund, to match funds allocated by both Community Councils and additional sponsorship from Valero.
The project is managed by Amroth CC and has two strands:
(1) An iconic stainless steel sculpture of a sea bass filled with plastic litter collected by volunteers from local beaches. Local sculptor Gideon Peterson created the structure in partnership with the local community to provide a highly visible reminder of the plastic pollution on our beaches and seas. The sculpture “Bertie the Sea Bass” was launched on June 29th 2018 by Eluned Morgan AM (see photo) at its permanent home on Amroth sea front next to the Blue Flag.
The sculpture is backed up by an associated teaching resource for use by local schools. “Bertie” has now begun a tour of locations on the Pembrokeshire Coast in response to requests from other Community Councils to use the sculpture as a focal point to promote the Clean Seas message. He has visited Saundersfoot and Milford Haven . He will be in Pembroke Dock from the 22nd April and back to Amroth on the 8th July.
(2) A Clean Seas Pledge made by both Community Councils and promoted to local business in each Council area. The Clean Seas pledge required businesses in Amroth and Saundersfoot to commit to 3 actions to reduce single use plastic, with each signatory receiving a Clean Seas window sticker (see image). All local food and drink outlets signed up to the pledge and now display the sticker.
The project has enhanced the visitor experience through cleaner beaches, while “Bertie” has become a visitor attraction and demonstrated the power of Community Councils to take action on a critical environmental issue.
Amroth Community Council is delighted to be successful in winning the prestigious One Voice Wales Environment Award as an example of how Community Council can play leadership role in protecting our environment.