I have just discovered a new way of working-out.

It gets you out in the fresh air in fantastic scenery and benefits the environment as well.

Two bits of equipment are essential: a bin bag and litter pickers.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I am talking about clearing rubbish from our shorelines.

I took part in the recent beach clean organised by Largs Community Council, on what was a fine sunny morning with lots of walkers on the prom.

Being a novice, I was eager to get started, thinking it would be a simple enough task - find a piece of litter, grab it with the pickers and pop it in the bag. easy? Well no, not quite! as I started off at the Aubery end of the prom, I hadn’t anticipated that a strong breeze would do its level best to thwart my progress.

The bag was thrashing about in the wind, so placing an item of rubbish securely inside was difficult. and as it billowed violently, bits were more likely to come flying out and scatter far and wide over the shore that I had just cleared.

I also found that the pickers were not good for disentangling discarded fishing line or bits of plastic from clumps of seaweed, so I frequently had to bend to grab them manually. I was using muscles I had long since forgotten about.

Then the ultimate embarrassment. an empty bag I was carrying blew out of my hand and flew across the grass at Aubery towards the road that was chock-a-block with cars. Luckily, I retrieved the bag in the nick of time at the edge of the road — a split second later it might have slapped into someone’s windscreen.

However, as bags of rubbish grew in number at the collection point near the RNLI station, it was obvious that other more experienced beach cleaners in the team were having more luck than me and an impressive amount of debris was removed from the beach by the end of the morning.

It is with these thoughts in mind that I send best wishes to all those taking part in the big beach clean at West Kilbride on Saturday.

This annual event brings together a number of community groups — all intent on improving this beautiful stretch of coast.

Their efforts will be another significant step towards a cleaner, healthier Clyde Audrey Kolon has put a lot of effort into coordinating the effort — even down to arranging refreshments at the end of the day.

If you want more information about the event, ring audrey on 01294 823949.