Kilted Charles meets beach-cleaning group in north of Scotland

The Prince of Wales
The Prince of Wales

A kilted Prince of Wales met with volunteer beach cleaners as he began a visit to the north of Scotland.

Charles met with volunteers at Scrabster Beach in Caithness on the northern tip of the United Kingdom on Thursday.

He will take part in several engagements in the town of Thurso during his visit to Scotland, where he is known as the Duke of Rothesay.

Wearing a kilt in Rothesay tartan, Charles met with Dorcas and Allan Sinclair, founders of the Caithness Beach Clean Group.

They showed the prince some of the objects they have collected from the more than 3,500 beach cleans carried out since the group was founded in 2019.

The objects included a coaxial cable which Ms Sinclair told the Prince they were holding on to in case they could find someone to use it.

Charles joked with the media covering the visit: “You don’t need any coaxial cables, do you?”

Speaking to the PA news agency ahead of the visit, Ms Sinclair, 64, said the group had picked up more than 31 tonnes of plastic since they started.

“We find horrible things like syringes, needles and even a gas mask,” she said.

“Recently we found a giant buoy, one of the cleaners got a tiny leather child’s shoe that is absolutely ancient.

“There’s also lots of pants, would you believe? So many people find men’s pants – only men’s, never women’s – and we talk about having a ‘pantometer’ because there’s a running joke about who finds the most pants.”

The Duke of Rothesay in Scotland
The Duke of Rothesay in Caithness during a previous visit (David Cheskin/PA)

Ms Sinclair and her husband, who live four miles outside Thurso, go to six to eight beaches on the north coast of Scotland a week.

She said: “The beaches here are now so good we’ve got to travel because there’s not as much to clean

“We’re also really trying to include children in the beach cleans because it’s their world.

“If a child goes out with their parents, I send them a certificate and a badge, we run competitions for them and we’ve got them designing things like dog poo posters.”

On Charles’s visit, she said: “He’s such an environmentalist himself, we’re really, really pleased he’s recognising what we’re doing here.”

Asked what she would speak to the prince about, Ms Sinclair added: “I’d like to tackle him about fishing because 99% of what we pick up is fishing related – nets, reels et cetera – in case he can use his influence.”

Charles last travelled to Caithness in 2019 when he visited a wind farm and whisky distillery.

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