Beauty marred

The beautiful Reader’s Gallery picture (14 July) looks to the Cuillin mountains from Elgol. Its juxtaposition on the opposite page with a letter from Philip Law, director-general of the British Plastics Federation struck a chord with me.

Five years ago, on my 65th birthday, I was sea kayaking in the area with my sons when we paddled from Elgol into the small sea loch below Loch Coruisk which is hidden from view in the middle of yesterday’s photograph. It was a similarly idyllic day and we beached there to walk up to the loch nestling below the beautiful Cuillin ridge which was looking its romantic best. We then paddled west through Soay Sound to camp overnight at Rubh an Dunain, the point at the south end of the west shore of Loch Brittle.

Beaching there, we pulled the kayaks up and pitched camp before exploring the area, which has a wee loch with its own little access canal that was used by ­Vikings as a winter harbour. There are other more ancient signs of human habitation and fortifications which are marked on the map.

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On wandering around I was shocked by the huge amount of plastic flotsam and jetsam scattered hundreds of yards inland by gales. Fishboxes, buoys, bottles, boxes and bits of plumbing were among the huge range of plastic rubbish strewn extensively over the site in this remote and beautiful place.

Philip Law should go to Rubh an Dunain and reconsider his complaint about “the impression that plastics are to blame for many of the world’s environmental issues”, for in this area they are almost exclusively so.

Ken Mowbray


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