Jenna Steele (6) makes her promise to the planet at the Earth Fair
Thousands of people have helped to celebrate the annual WWF Earth Hour campaign in South Ayrshire. A full programme of events took place on Saturday, 24 March to promote sustainability, while asking people to consider small ways of changing day-to-day habits.
For this year's Earth Hour, a broad-range of events and workshops took place across South Ayrshire including the second annual Earth Fair with event partners Ayr Central, an adventure trail at Belleisle, Earth Hour Bookbug sessions at Ayr's Carnegie Library, Girvan Off the Grid at Girvan Community Garden, Pick up for the Planet events at Fullarton Woods, Dundonald Woods, and Troon Beach, and an evening of entertainment and information as Earth Hour comes to Dundonald Castle.
South Ayrshire Council also switched off floodlights at a number of public buildings and landmarks including: Alloway Kirk, St Nicholas Church Ruin in Prestwick, Fish Cross sculpture, High Street, Ayr, Poet & Scholar sculpture, High Street, Ayr, Loudoun Hall Courtyard, Auld Brig, Ayr, Burns Statue, Burns Statue Square, Ayr, Kirkoswald church ruin, Kirkoswald, Stumpy Tower, Girvan, Dundonald Castle (in consultation with Historic Scotland), Ayr Town Hall, Maybole Town Hall, Wallace Tower, Ayr, St John's Tower, Ayr.
This year's events follow a Council 'Promise to the Planet' to stop buying plastic straws alongside a commitment to review the purchases of all single use plastic items by 2022 to ensure items which are more sustainable are bought in future. The Council used to buy around 35,000 straws a year and is now working with partners to promote a change of attitude towards single use plastic items.
Councillor Ian Cochrane, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Sustainability & the Environment said that this year's event had been a great success, "We're proud to support Earth Hour and the great response we had to events across South Ayrshire will help to change attitudes and help protect our planet for future generations.
"This year people were encouraged to consider their actions, think about the products they use, and question whether they could make small changes to the way they live to cut down on waste, something which I hopes to build momentum towards a lasting legacy.
"For our part, the Council is committed to protecting the environment and recently banned the purchase of plastic straws in our buildings and are also reviewing single-use plastic items to cut out unnecessary waste, something we hope will inspire others to follow."
George Reader, centre manager at Ayr Central, said, "No matter where you start there are many ways to make a difference and they all add up."
"We were delighted to work with South Ayrshire Council to host the Earth Fair on Saturday. I know that our shoppers found it a wonderful event to discover on one day how to make a difference the rest of the year.
"At Ayr Central we are very aware of our social responsibilities and aim to be a good neighbour in the community. Part of this means employing 'best practice' to minimise the environmental impact of our operations and being open to new initiatives that help educate and reduce environmental impact."