Subscribe to our newsletter here

Interview with Romie Blair (Nessie), inspiration and taskmaster of Dunbar Against Litter.

Founded by Nessie, DAL is a group of like-minded people who would like to see Dunbar as litter-free as possible. DAL works with East Lothian Council, Zero Waste Dunbar, and Viridor as well as businesses and individuals in Dunbar who work at disposing of litter responsibly. Nessie is also a West Barns Community councillor.

“We are all volunteers, picking up litter from our streets, beaches, countryside and roadside and disposing of it in a responsible manner. We also want to spread the word and get people on board. You can volunteer! We have a project of Adopting-a-street - asking people to help clean up an area of the town. We can assist you by supplying bags and we hope to be able to supply pick-up sticks and hi-vis vests where funds allow. We can also help by advising where you can drop off bags that will be collected regularly. Additionally, we have litter bins in areas that the Council cannot reach. These bins are emptied regularly by our volunteers.”


Nessie, where were you born?
Dunbar, born and bred, went to Dunbar schools, studied and then returned to Dunbar in the 80s.
Do you have children? 
Yes, three sons. I’m now retired and busier than ever.
Is Nessie your real name? 
I was nicknamed Nessie when I lived in London after studying at Charing Cross School of Window Dressing. 
How many ‘helpers’ are on your team?
We have about 60 helpers who litter pick from West Barns to Torness. Oh, and there’s 990 supporters on our FB page. We get lots of compliments from the public.
Does it keep you all fit?
Yes! We even have helpers on mobility scooters who zoom around gathering litter. Also it helps with mental health issues to be outside doing something useful for everybody.
Everyone seems to regard you as a character, how could that possibly be? 
Perhaps because I get things done! I’ve had many jobs including music promoter, running Granny Radge Promos, community charities, even music events in a strip club with pole dancers. I’m thinking of doing a future event: “Live at the Lavvies” near the toilets in front of the swimming pool.
Do you like visiting the Harbour, even if it’s for litter picking? 
Yes, I love our harbour but there’s some in our town who don’t know about the harbour!
Are you sometimes an unpaid tourist guide?
Yes, visitors ask questions and fall into interesting chats with us. 
Are gulls the culprits for distributing litter?
Well, sometimes, but people overstuff bins with chip boxes and pizza boxes so the gulls easily pull it all out, then the wind spreads it. Horrible and unhealthy.
Has Covid 19 affected your work? 
Not really, we work separately outside in the fresh air, ventilation is good. 
What are you planning for 2021? 
First Aid courses and we hope to start a children's club once a fortnight to see how it goes.
How can people donate to your good works?
By direct debit. Bank: Dunbar Against Litter, 80-22-60, a/c 18280269, even £1/month is fine,  or give us a cheque, or there’s collection tins in the Garden Centre, and lots of people help us, Douglas Reid’s garage (01368 863096) does our van MOT for free. Thanks lads! 
Plus we’ll soon be a charity once the paperwork’s complete.
Any other help needed?
a) We need a small space to take out litter-picks to enable us to recycle more 
b) Know any clever techie who could connect up our wildlife cameras, please?
“Thank you, Nessie, and good luck for 2021.”
Her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DunbarAgainstLitter/
Photo from DAL's FB page.
Have any questions? Give us a call 01368 865 404