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Record turnout for the Great British Beach Clean in Southwold

By Benedict Orchard, also posted in News on

beach clean volunteers Sept 2015Saturday 19th September saw local volunteers and beach lovers come together to help clean Southwold’s beach as part of the Marine Conservation Society's (MCS) Great British Beach Clean. This time 72 volunteers (64 adults, 8 kids and 2 dogs) scoured the sandy dunes between Gunhill and The Harbour (also known as the Southwold Denes). We had lots of regular faces from across the counties, alongside plenty of new faces keen to join in. The weather was once more in our favour (after a week of rain) and we were all enthusiastic, full of coffee and ready to go! Linking our efforts with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) means we survey what we find and input valuable results into the national database of beach litter trends. Unfortunately, this trend is still on the rise but so is the support for MCS. The 2014 Great British Beach Clean saw the highest ever turnout with over 5000 volunteers cleaning over 300 beaches nationwide. If our turnout is anything to go by, this year should show similar trends across the country. After a fantastic clean along our 1km stretch of adopted beach, we had collected 34 sacks of rubbish! Our sample survey indicates very similar results to last year at around 2,700 pieces of rubbish per km of beach. Given, however, how many extra hands and pairs of eyes we had this year it is perhaps to be expected that we found a bit more of that pesky litter! As usual, the one trend that often stays the same is the dominance of plastic, specifically tiny non-sourced pieces along with sweet wrappers of public origin. A few unexpected items found their way into the mix, including BBQ grills, fireworks, babies' dummies, shoe heels, electric cabling and the obligatory pair of pants! The prize for most ‘quirky’ find was awarded to a gentleman who found the eye of a teddy bear, probably long lost and now part of the bear's new character. The results of this year's nationwide cleans will be available in spring 2016 via the MCS website. We finished off our clean at The Harbour Inn with a plate of fish & chips and a fresh pint of Adnams, whilst others who were not able to join us for lunch enjoyed a free bottle of beer. Our beach cleaning season will start again in March 2016. If you’d like to register your interest in advance please send me an e-mail at: Once again, a really big thanks all volunteers who have helped make such a difference. You can view photos of this year’s Adnams Southwold Big Beach Clean on Flickr. Adnams Beach Clean, September 2015  


Benedict Orchard