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To: Ben Macpherson, MSP for Edinburgh North and Leith

Clean the rubbish at the Shore

Clean the rubbish at the Shore

Over the last 20 years the issue of trash in the Water of Leith between the Bernard Street and Victoria bridges has been raised repeatedly with little success. Residents, businesses and visitors are disappointed and angry at being ignored by the private interests and elected representatives holding power and authority over the appearance and public health of our iconic quarter. There is no evidence of them taking their responsibilities seriously. We ask your help to restore our neighbourhood to one of which we can jointly be proud.

Why is this important?

We are all concerned that whereas investment into The Shore has led to improved infrastructure and the establishment of community magnets like Custom House and Leith Market, our neighbourhood continues to be damaged by the water’s neglect.

Leith, Edinburgh

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • I like to eat my lunch by the river watching the swans and ducks... not the rubbish floating by. It's disgusting!!
  • Disgusting not only to look at but to live in! This should not be happening in this day and age.
  • It's a disgrace and a tragedy that this iconic place has been left to fester for so long! It should be at the very top of the powers that be's agenda. Its current state sets the tone for businesses, residents and visitors to the area, and that tone at present isn't a very nice one. A hydraulic grab by the road and a team or two on ribs would make short work of it. Take responsibility for yourselves!!!


2019-08-02 18:31:24 +0100

We’re delighted to be sending this update jointly with Ben Macpherson MSP for Edinburgh North and Leith. We’ve presented Ben with the petition, 3164 strong, attached along with a post-meeting picture.

Together, we want to thank Edinburgh Council for its support in joining with Forth Ports to clean the “Sea of Crap”. We’ll continue to work together, as a team, with Ben and Edinburgh Council to promote maintenance of the Water of Leith by the Shore. Our campaign is moving into a second phase, which we are calling “SOSLeith (Save our Shore, Leith). We’ll start social media under that banner in the coming days and invite your participation. If there are any recipients that would want to join the campaign, or wish to offer any particular skills, could you message [email protected] directly?

2019-07-24 21:18:33 +0100

The “Sea of Crap” is gone! The water has not looked this good in years. We send our thanks to the Council and Forth Ports for coming together and clearing the mess and thank the workmen who diligently accomplished their tasks.
We said to the Council and Forth Ports that we are pleased to note the intent to include the community in long-term planning for basin management. As residents and businesses, we are keen to be involved in the ongoing basin clean-up maintenance plan, clean-up monitoring, and feedback reporting.
Our hope is that this campaign has opened the door to transparent, multi-stakeholder, planning and implementation to make our environment safe, clean, and respectful of our heritage.

2019-07-18 10:09:22 +0100

We heard from the council and councillors that trash pickup was to commence this week and, over the last 48 hours, that it would start on Friday. We were also informed that, after pickup, we’d be included in council-led efforts to design and implement a long-term solution to this decades-long issue.

Today’s Edinburgh Evening News has this article - – indicating that the council and Forth Ports will commence pickup tomorrow.

Our thanks to our representatives who are now taking action, and to Forth Ports for its involvement, and to the 3,118 petitioners who signed up to “Clean the Rubbish at the Shore”.

2019-07-05 12:46:43 +0100

Progress! CEC saying “...our waste team have been talking with WoL 2000 and Forth Ports about the best way to get this dealt with quickly. Further discussion will take place tomorrow.” Adam McVey, council chief, has been in contact to say "discussions are ongoing and I’m hopeful that the owners meeting their responsibilities. When this concludes with agreed actions I’ll be able to set out a timeline…” and also that "Discussions on the immediate issue are quite far advanced.” Press: We’ve had great coverage from both the Edinburgh Evening News at, and Edinburgh Live at And we have a stall at Leith Market tomorrow – please come!

2019-07-02 22:47:23 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2019-07-02 07:20:29 +0100

500 signatures reached

2019-07-01 18:12:44 +0100

100 signatures reached

2019-07-01 17:25:54 +0100

50 signatures reached

2019-07-01 17:05:24 +0100

25 signatures reached

2019-07-01 16:56:32 +0100

10 signatures reached