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Great British Beach Clean in Southwold

By Benedict Orchard, also posted in News on

Beach Clean volunteers, September 2014A big thank you to all our brilliant volunteers who took part in this year's Marine Conservation Society's Great British Beach Clean. Thirty-five adults, six children and three dogs helped collect and monitor beach litter on our stretch of Southwold beach from Gunhill to the Harbour. Our survey data feeds in to a national and gloabl database to help protect marine wildlife and turn the tide on rising beach litter levels. Once again (and to no surprise) the dominant material was plastic, accounting for over 52%. This is, however, a reduction on last year's data, which also saw the most common item change. This year sweet wrappers (public litter) came in just on top of plastic pieces (fishing/shipping litter). Burnt out wheelie bin, beach clean Sept 2014In third place was polystyrene; another big nuisance material, while the rest of it was a steady mix between public and non public litter. We stumbled across a couple of bulky items, namely a burnt out wheelie bin and an 8ft timber plank, while on the other end of the scale there quite a few pairs of underwear and socks! Each year the support for the Marine Conservation Society grows and 2013 saw a 15% increase in volunteers to over 4,000 people collecting more than 223,000 pieces of litter across the weekend. From our own clean it looks like the trend has continued in 2014 and we wait to hear the results of this weekend’s national clean in spring next year. Washed up 8ft plank on beach, September 2014A very big thank you to all volunteers who really did help make a difference. They certainly all had a smile on their face when we got to The Harbour Inn at the end for a well deserved (and freshly caught) plate of fish and chips and a pint! We hope to see plenty of you next year as we begin the 2015 beachwatch calendar around March time. There will be plenty more details nearer the time, but if you would like to register your interest in advance please send me an e-mail: View Ben's pictures of this year’s Big Beach Clean on Flickr.


Benedict Orchard