There have got to be worse ways to spend a Saturday than strolling along a beach in the blazing sunshine while looking after the environment at the same time. For me, it doesn't get any better. Today was my beach clean up event for the MCS Great British Beach Clean weekend. I have held two other clean ups at this beach this year and I was fortunate enough to have fantastic teams of volunteers for both. Today's team was no exception!
In total, there were 25 of us scanning the length of the survey area, including five under-18s. I'm always extremely pleased to have young people taking part in these cleans, particularly when I see that they are enjoying themselves. Getting children and teenagers interested in their environment is absolutely vital and events like these are a brilliant way to make learning about nature into something fun and engaging. Of course, I love to have volunteers of all ages taking part! I spoke to several of the adults helping me today who all expressed amazement at what gets washed up on the shores and dropped by the public. It fills me with hope whenever I come across people who care as much as I do about looking after our planet.
As there were so many of us, it didn't take us long to cover the 100m survey area. Much like the clean I did back in June, there wasn't a massive amount of litter to be collected, not in terms of weight anyway. Generally, Goring-by-Sea is a pretty clean beach from first glance but once you really start looking closely at the pebbles and in between the groynes, all of the small pieces of twine, fishing line and plastic start appearing. One of the teams recorded a large piece of carpet, which we were all hoping had not been used for disposing of anything untoward! The same team also found a large, plastic receptacle that looks as if it was used as a marker buoy. I picked up my first shoe; it was a Croc, so no great loss there! (Please don't take offense if you're a Croc-wearer! Each to their own...)
The last time I was down at Worthing, I nearly got blown off my feet by the strength of the breeze so I came prepared today with my rain mac. I would have been better off dressed in a swimming costume I think, so I could have had a quick dip in the sea to cool off! It was absolutely roasting today and there was quite literally not a breath of wind. I'm certainly not complaining but it was most unexpected, especially after the
lack of summer we've just had.
Several of my volunteers expressed interest in the results of our collection and what the data gets used for, as well as when I will be holding future events. Beach-cleaning is such a great way to not only do some good for the environment but also to get some fresh air and exercise. Living on a small island as we do, none of use are ever too far away from some form of coastline and if we could all pick up litter each time we visited a beach, it would make the world of difference.
The results from today's clean were as follows:
-32 metal items
-32 sanitary items
-38 paper items
-20 wood items
-539 plastic items
-21 rubber items
-32 cloth items