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A pair of pants and a pallet...

By Benedict Orchard, also posted in News on

Adnams September Beach Clean 2017 volunteersA massive thank you to all 76 brilliant volunteers that joined us on Saturday 16th September for the Marine Conservation Society's annual Great British Beach Clean on our adopted stretch of beach in Southwold. It was the annual clean-up after the high season has just finished! Volunteers old and new, from far and wide, were amongst the 68 adults 8 children (and a couple of dogs) that gave the beach a fantastic ‘once-over’ with a litter picker, helping to remove 39 sacks of rubbish which could have otherwise caused serious harm to marine wildlife. It’s a great feeling to know it’s now where it should be… in the bin! We adopted our stretch of Southwold beach, between Gunhill and the Harbour (known as The Denes), back in 2003 in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). Every time we complete a beach clean, we survey what we find and send the results to MCS to feed into the national database of beach litter trends. In September, our clean is part of the MCS Great British Beach Clean, which involves co-ordinated beach cleans across the UK on the same weekend. In 2016, nearly 6,000 volunteers took to 364 different beaches across the UK for Great British Beach Clean. We saw a 4% decrease in litter levels last year, down to 649 pieces of litter per km of UK beach. You can read the full report here. The data collected this year will now be submitted to the MCS who will compile the data into the 2017 report which you can expect to see published in spring next year on the MCS website. The results from our September Southwold beach clean indicate it is cleaner that the average beach with around 375 pieces of litter per km of beach. Litter on Southwold beach is dominated by plastic litter; 42% of what we found were small, unidentifiable pieces of plastic and plastic string / netting. Overall, however, plastic seemed to be a bit less dominant this year as we found more paper and wood waste, notably chip forks and cigarette stubs. This is classed as 'public litter', showing we all need to take extra care to think about our actions when on the beach and remember to take our rubbish away with us when we leave. We, of course, had the few odd finds this year with a pint glass (not Adnams!), a pallet, a pair of pants and a fisherman’s knife! We were subject to the “Great British Weather Game” on the clean, with torrential down-pours the night before, but then glorious sunshine for most of the clean. Towards the end, small showers started and just 5 minutes after we made it to the pub, once again the skies opened and the rain fell hard! It didn’t bother us at this point as we were all relaxing nicely, watching the afternoon tick by with our fish and chips and a pint at The Harbour Inn. Adnams Beach Clean at the harbour with bags of litter, Sept 2017Our next beach clean will be when we start our 2018 beach clean season in spring. We’ll let you know the date in the new year. For now, you can register your interest in our beach cleans by e-mailing me at Once again, big thanks all volunteers who really do help make such a difference.  


Benedict Orchard