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Adnams Spring Beach Clean 2014

By Benedict Orchard, also posted in News on

Adnams' beach clean volunteers, March 2014For the first time in 2014 we donned our bibs and gloves, grabbed our grabbers and bagged some litter from Southwold beach. 25 lovely volunteers convened at The Swan Hotel before heading down to Gunhill on what was the warmest day of the year so far; we couldn’t have asked for better! As ever, the sandy beach of Southwold was not particularly prevalent to public litter but instead litter from the oceans (plastics and rope). Our kilometre stretch (from Gunhill to the Harbour) starts relatively clean but gets worse as we walk along where litter tends to get itself entwined in the grasses of the sand dunes. Between us all though, we managed to remove over 25 sacks of litter, along with a few novelty items of which I think the winner of the most unusual item this time around has to go to Al, who stumbled across an entire car wheel! Interestingly we also came across a section just behind the dunes that looked to have been affected by the recent floods. This, now flattened, grassy dune was host to thousands of tiny pieces of plastic. It was a real eye opener to the group as to the extent of plastic litter in our oceans, but it did back up my fact from the start of the day that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of plastic. Al removes car tyre from beachWe are now in our eleventh year of running these beach cleans, which we do as part of the Marine Conservation Society's (MCS) Beachwatch. This month, we also surveyed a 100m stretch of the beach to get a sample of the litter present. This information will be sent to the MCS and will feed into their rolling annual beach litter statistics. There were over 200 pieces of litter in the 100m stretch – which is a little less than back in September when we undertook the last survey. Could this be a good sign, or just the fact that high season has not yet begun? We will monitor this – but what is safe to say is that the levels of enthusiasm in the local community and beyond (we were joined by a family of volunteers from North Norfolk!) is still as thriving as ever. This is a really encouraging sign and I would just like to again extend my thanks to all our amazing volunteers on the day. I hope they, and the rest of you, can join us next time. Of course, no Adnams Beach Clean is rounded off without a pint, and Nick at The Harbour Inn was more than happy to see us all bask in the sunshine for a very well deserved drink. If you would like to register your interest for the next Adnams Southwold Beach Clean please send me an e-mail at and I will keep you informed. Our next clean will take place late June / early July 2014. You can view pictures from the day on Flickr.


Benedict Orchard