A PHOTOGRAPHER who worked on David Attenborough’s Blue Planet has urged the public to get behind a week of action which aims to clean up the Clyde.

Doug Allan, an ambassador for the Upstream Battle, said he had seen “first hand” the destruction and impact on wildlife caused by litter that finds its way into oceans and rivers after being discarded.

People in Glasgow are being encouraged to support the campaign next month by taking part in a community clean-up.

Line of Duty star Martin Compston has also got behind the 18-month campaign to tackle marine litter in Glasgow, which is the first initiative of its kind.

It is estimated that 1.8 million people – approximately 35 per cent of Scotland’s population – live in the River Clyde catchment area.

Doug, who is working on Frozen Planet 2, said: “I’m aware that I’ve been lucky. As a wildlife cameraman on programmes such as Blue Planet, I’ve seen first hand how animals live in the natural world.

“However I have also watched them fail. I’ve seen first hand the destruction that litter causes, how lethal plastic pollution can be in our oceans and how it can prove to be fatal to marine life.”

Upstream Battle is running the length of the River Clyde and is a co-ordinated effort to increased the public’s understanding of the journey of litter to the ocean.

It includes the rivers Kelvin, Leven, Avon and the White and Black Cart, and the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Local businesses on the Clyde have been encouraged to play a role.

As part of his role Doug has been going into schools to educate pupils about plastic pollutants and said young people were “asking questions that we need to answer.”

He said: “Every piece of litter entering any natural habitat causes significant damage.

“Many of the students I’ve spoken to have been worried about the dangers of being up close and personal with some of these large mammals.

“I’ve told them that rather than having a fear of the animals themselves, it’s far scarier watching the gradual destruction of their natural habitats.

“I’ve seen first hand a seal tangled in a fishing net, a turtle with its tummy full of plastic. I am passionate about explaining how many animals are at the mercy of human actions.”

“When faced with questions about where marine litter and plastics come from, my answer is simple. Humans. It is humans who are having a huge impact on animals ecosystems and their lives. It is humans who must take responsibility to make sure that this destruction is stopped.

“That small piece of litter in your local stream is carried to the sea, where it becomes part of the 750 tonnes of plastic that reaches our oceans every single hour - the equivalent in weight to 23 double decker buses.

“Once in the sea, it ends up in the stomachs of our precious wildlife, or may contaminate and destroy the very place they make their home.

“Young people are asking questions that we need to answer. Awareness of climate change and environmental issues are growing, and it’s absolutely essential that we’re all taught how our actions have a direct impact on the bigger picture.”

“Binning your litter, recycling, and using reusable cups and bottles they’re all really important if we’re to win the Battle.”

Keep Scotland Beautiful and RECOUP are partners in the Upstream Battle campaign, which is funded by a range of organisations including Crown Estate Scotland, ScotMid and RCP/bpi. It is supported by the Scottish Government.