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Ullapool kids honoured for sea plastic campaign

By Hector MacKenzie


PRIMARY and high school pupils in Ullapool have been recognised for their campaign work promoting and protecting marine life in the north-west Highlands.

The Ullapool Sea Savers (USS) was set up after being involved in a campaign to ban plastic straws from the Ross village last year.

Since forming in early 2018 they have been helping to highlight issues around marine life, and individual children have taken on roles as species ambassadors for a number of animals including flame shells, turtles, dolphins and sharks.

One of them, Poppy Lewis (12), has become an otter ambassador, and following their campaign to stop proposals to dredge kelp on the west coast and Hebrides, they have received an Otter Oscar from the Skye-based charity – International Otter Survival Fund. The Oscars are given to people and groups who have worked to help protect otters, and kelp plays an important role in otter life, providing food and habitat for the species.

The kids from USS were part of a west coast community campaign for #NoKelpDredge and they even travelled to Holyrood to submit their opposition.

Living Seas community officer Noel Hawkins who presented the award on behalf of IOSF and has worked with the USS kids said: “Seeing kids of this age not only interested in their marine life and environment but prepared to stand up for it and help protect and conserve it is inspiring. While many adults are still discussing climate change... kids around the world seem to embracing the issue. They doing their part to call on adults and politicians to do more to help protect what will be their future.”

The group has also made the final of the Scottish Rural Awards 2019 for conservation and the environment, in recognition of its work highlighting the need to reduce plastics.

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