Who is behind the BigScapaCleanup?

Scapa Flow has a strange draw that collects people who somehow just connect with the location, be they divers, scientists, tourist or just average Joes. The BigScapaCleanup is driven by this passion from this community.

The core team continue to grow in strength. Rich has nurtured his Ghostfishing team and has started to implement a nationwide initiative to remove Ghost Gear for all around the Uk coastline. This summer will see Jo engage one of her Postgrads to work through the Ghostfishing data gathered on last years project and see exactly what we harvested. Bob has grown the project and is trying to expand the conversation to include as wide a contribution from as many collaborators as possible. The team of 3 still hold dear the principle of community participation and citizen science. Jump in, the water is lovely!

We are supported in turn by a number of important partnerships. The wrecks are protected with national legislation to preserve their legacy so especially valuable is the support from Historic Environment Scotland without whos permission we couldn’t proceed. In addition the Nautical Archaeology Society have helped fund development of this website. Heriot Watt University have supported us with funding and scientific research.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see the list of collaborators. Each one has brought time, expertise and commitment to the project and we are very appreciative of their support so a big thank you all round.

Keep visiting and we will keep you updated on progress as the project moves forward. With your help, we can make the The BigScapaCleanup a success.

Bob Anderson

Bob_AndersonBob drives a dive boat, the Halton, and has a long standing passion for Scapa Flow. He believes that the wrecks are important not just because they are ships that will never be seen again but because they are a memory of a time gone past. We are custodians of a snippet of history and he believes we should work hard to respect our heritage and our environment. Picking up litter may be a small step in the big scheme of things but if we all take our own small steps, before long there is an army marching.

Dr. Jo Porter

Dr_Jo_Porter Behind the scenes is a strong foundation in science and a need to base our efforts on measureable data. Dr Jo Porter works at Heriot Watt University and adds a large dollop of practical hands on science to the project so that we know what we find, how to record it and make sure we add our data to the scientific record. But behind it all, Jo is driven by the same passion for the sea that we all feel.

Rich Walker

Rich_WalkerRich is an instructor by trade but a diver by instinct. As a man that makes his living under the waves he understands first-hand how important it is to have a big tidy up in the office every now and then. More than that, he brings with him the team ethos and the skills to work together and solve this problem as a unified team, making light work with many hands.


Over the past few seasons, the BigScapaCleanUp has been lucky enough to gather new friends, all of whom have brought something valuable to the table. This little space is our way of shining a spot light on these guys and saying a little bit of a thank you in return. This initiative is driven from the grass roots and so many people add so much time for which we are eternally grateful. Here are a the few we have singled out for now!

Historic Environment Scotland deserve a special thanks - for the second year running they have supported the initiative with a generous grant enabling the website expansion and creation of new maps. As the prime authority tasked with administering the legislation associated with protecting these unique wrecks, we really couldn't do our work without them. For that, we would like to say a really special thank you.

For the first year running we welcome BSAC aboard - they have adopted the Cöln and will start to document the cultural and physical story of this unique wreck over the lead up to Scapa 100.


Clearing the wrecks improves diver safety and this year we are fortunate to welcome the Orkney Hyperbaric Trust to the project. Their primary role is to man the local recompression chamber but they have come onboard to fund a small project to assess the impact on diver safety of all the marine litter. If there is one less entanglement or incident leading to a treatment, we will have achieved some of this ambition.

We are pleased to welcome Sula diving aboard. Their role will include some of the back end admin, such as sending out the wreck sheets, and analysing some of the numbers to quantify diver safety.

As an illustrative designer and artist Steve has been involved from the ground up by designing the branding, building the site and creating all the artwork, including the wreck maps.