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Over 100 volunteers join our Great British Beach Clean 2016

By Benedict Orchard, also posted in News on

[caption id="attachment_17697" align="alignleft" width="240"]Volunteer at Southwold September Beach clean 2016 Photo credit: Arthur Clack[/caption] On Saturday 17th September we held our annual Great British Beach Clean on our adopted stretch of beach in Southwold and were joined by 106 amazing volunteers! Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey and a representative from the Marine Conservation Society were amongst the 91 adults and 13 children that gave the beach a fantastic 'once-over' with a litter picker, helping to remove 38 sacks of rubbish which could have otherwise caused serious harm to marine wildlife. A massive thank you to all of you who volunteered your time. 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). Everytime 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 2015 over 6,000 volunteers took to the beach during the Great British Beach Clean, the highest number so far! Unfortunately, although support and awareness is increasing, so are the litter levels with an average of 30% more pieces of litter per km of UK beach in 2015 than in the previous year. You can read the full report here and can expect to find 2016 results 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 2,900 pieces per km of beach. Litter on Southwold beach is dominated by plastic litter; 46% of what we found was tiny pieces washed in from the sea (non-sourced). However, second to this was 35% from litter left by members of the public, showing we all need to take extra care to think about our actions when on the beach and remember to take our rubbish with us when we leave.

After we all laughed over some of the odd finds this year (a garden chair, a swing ball set, a toothbrush and fridge magnet), we headed to The Harbour Inn for fish & chips and a pint which we offer to our Great British Beach Clean volunteers as a way of saying thank you.

Our cleaning season will start again next year, with our spring clean in March 2017. If you’d like to register your interest in advance, please drop me an e-mail at:

Once again, a really big thanks all my volunteers who helped make such a difference. View images of the 2016 Adnams Southwold Great British Beach Clean on Flickr.   Adnams September beach clean 2016 Photo album credit: Arthur Clack


Benedict Orchard