462 volunteers helped National Trust teams collect a staggering 533 bags of rubbish during the National Trust’s Big Beach Clean Week (15-22 March) in the South West.
The 19 beach cleans kicked off a year-long Coastal Festival of events celebrating the 50th anniversary of Neptune, a campaign created to help protect our coastline from inappropriate development and care for it for ever and for everyone.
Some of the most interesting finds included;
- a Welsh Rugby Union ball at Redcliffe Bay,
- a museum model of a skeleton,
- a huge tractor tyre and 40 disposable lighters at Lantic Bay,
- Second World War barb wire in the dunes at Holywell,
- 23 bags of plastic bottles at Chesil beach
- Japanese cat biscuit packaging at Man sands
- a toilet seat at Aymer
- a small plastic penis at Trenow
Beach cleaning not only helps to improve the coastal habitat for plants and animals but also to ensure beaches that the Trust cares for are clean and ready for the first visitors of the season.
The Trust routinely looks after 300 miles of the coastline in the south west and it costs us around £3000 per mile to look after our coast for people and nature every year – that is £1million every year.
If the Trust were to stand all the skips it fills with beach rubbish side by side collected in the south west, it would stretch as far as three Jumbo jets parked end to end. If stacked on top of one another it would stand as high as 20 London double-decker buses.
A recent survey by the Marine Conservation Society found that rubbish on UK coasts rose by 6.4% from 2013 to 2014, figures indicate that plastic is still the most common litter found on UK beaches. There was also a significant amount of rubbish from commercial and recreational fishing.The MCS is calling on the government to implement a national marine litter action plan to address the main sources of rubbish in the UK’s seas, from the public, fishing, shipping and sewage-related debris. The government is currently consulting on the measures needed to meet EU standards on marine litter.