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The not so ‘summery’ Adnams Summer Beach Clean 2016

By Benedict Orchard, also posted in News on

Fab-beach-clean-volunteers-at-the-start-June-2016It seems a bit of rain does not deter our ever-helpful volunteers from coming and keeping Southwold beach clean and tidy. On Saturday 18th June we held the latest of our beach cleans in connection with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) which are so important to improving the quality of life for both marine wildlife and humans. A massive thank you again to all 39 of you, including 3 juniors and a dog, for braving what looked like a potentially rather wet beach clean. However, at around 10:15am, just before we were to head out, the rain ceased and there was even a bit of brightness behind the thick clouds, so we donned our equipment and got stuck in. Beach litter is unfortunately still on the rise as identified by the MCS through the continuous data they have being fed into them from all the Beach Watch organisers across the UK, including our group. Plastic was the dominant culprit again with around 50% of what we found were just small, unidentifiable plastic pieces, which pose some of the biggest threats to marine animals. Birds and other animals mistake these plastic pieces for food and ingest them, which can block their stomachs and can sadly be the direct cause of their demise. Plastic pieces primarily come from the shipping industry being washed on shore, and being near such a busy freight channel for boats we get a lot of this. Around 30% of the litter, however, was from public sources, the top items including crisp and sweet wrappers, cutlery and cups, lolly sticks, plastic cotton bud sticks and wet wipes. Taking responsibility of our litter when we’re out enjoying the seaside is something we should all do to ensure the next generation can enjoy our wonderful British coastline and its wild inhabitants. The-saddest-find-of-the-day-a-lost-catOf course, we had a couple of quirky items turn up, it wouldn’t be a proper beach clean without them. Varying from a few we’ve seen before such as flip flops and socks to a couple we haven’t (Have a look at our pictures from the day). We found a very sad looking soft toy cat that has lost its owner! Does anybody know who might have accidentally left him on the beach? (We’ve temporarily named him Jack the Cat). You can let us know via commenting below or by sending me an e-mail. EU-Life-RSPB-and-Touching-the-Tide-Little-Tern-VolunteersWe were joined by three EU Life & RSPB wardens who not only helped clean the beach but were also there to talk with our volunteers about Little Terns, one of the UK's rarest breeding seabirds. Little Tern numbers are in decline in the UK and Suffolk has lost a staggering 88% of its breeding Little Terns in the last 20 years. The Little Tern wardens champion the protection of colonies and help inform beach users about what they can do to help, such as staying away from protected areas and keeping dogs on leads. Find out more about the EU Life & RSPB Little Tern Recovery project here. We like to finish our cleans at the local Adnams pub, The Harbour Inn, with a fresh pint of the local brew (I had Dry Hopped Lager) to say thanks to all who took part.

Join us at our next clean in September

The Adnams Great British Beach Clean will be taking place on Saturday 17th September 2016. This is biggest event of the year and links in with a weekend of nationwide beach cleans all in support of the Marine Conservation Society. If you’d like to come along please just drop me an e-mail at: Thanks again to all our volunteers. View images of our Summer beach clean on Flickr.


Benedict Orchard