UKCAP Scotland has now completed a detailed photographic survey of the entire Scottish Mainland, resulting in tens of thousands of high resolution photographs showing significant litter concentrations and involving around 150 hours of flying. A few of these single litter sinks comprise several metric tonnes of plastic. See here: https://scrapbook.org.uk/
Other sorties in 2018 involved environmental monitoring, archaeological survey, missing person search and training.
The consortium of charities driving SCRAPbook, of which Sky Watch in Scotland is but one, now employ 4 full-time personnel with the Moray Firth Partnership taking financial lead and UKCAPS providing all of the data through 9 dedicated crews. A large band of volunteer analysts are also engaged to categorise the pollution for location, severity and access. A study is ongoing at the University of Strathclyde to investigate the application of Machine Learning Analysis to the vast store of data produced already and the projected data still to come.
At the recent Scottish International Marine Conference, the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment spoke to the assembled scientists and volunteers, both international and home based, explaining the critical work being done by Sky Watch in Scotland. In this purely environmental respect, the UK Civil Air Patrol is clearly out-performing other voluntary air support organisations throughout the world.
Following a thorough review of SCRAPbook operations in 2018, UKCAPS is expanding and planning a busy year ahead during which all of the Scottish Islands, from Arran to Shetland will be similarly surveyed. Estimates suggest another 150 hours flying for this task alone.
Other anticipated areas of activity for the year ahead include an increase in requests for missing person search operations and BDMLR support, particularly cetacean rescue following beaching and entanglement.