As part of the 2015 South West Coastal Festival which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Neptune Coastline Campaign, the National Trust is asking for volunteers to dress down, get dirty and help clean 17 beaches across the South West for the Big Beach Clean week 15-22 March.
People of all ages and abilities can get involved, what is needed are volunteers willing to turn out at their local beach, have some fun and help get the beach ready to welcome visitors for the start of the season. Studland Bay is the location for the first beach clean on 15 March.
There are two pieces of litter for every footstep you take on a beach. The tide of litter on our beaches sadly appears to be on the increase, quantities of litter on UK beaches have more than doubled since 1994, and plastic now accounts for over 70% of all litter. Not only can litter be a health hazard to us and off putting to tourists, it’s estimated that over 100,000 marine animals die every year from entanglement or ingestion of items discarded on our beaches or at sea.
Nick Lawrence, National Trust Coast Festival Director said: ‘We’ve got 17 beach cleans happening across the South West during the Big Beach Clean week. Not only do beach cleans help to improve the coastal habitat for plants and animals but they are also great fun and suitable for all the family to take part in, you don’t need to book, just turn up! You’ll also be doing your bit to ensure that the beaches you love and we care for are clean and ready.
‘As a charity, it costs us £3,000 to look after each mile of coast year – that is £1 million pounds a year just to look after the 300 miles of coastline we care for in the South West. We are asking our supporters to take part in our events, to join as members or volunteer with us through beach cleans and a range of other activities. And do please donate and help us raise the £1 million pounds we require each year to protect each of those 300 miles of coast’, he added
The Trust’s 2015 Coastal Festival is a year-long series of events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Neptune Coastline campaign, set up in 1965 to protect the coast from the threat of development and look after it for ever for the nation.
Over the last 50 years, public and partnership support have raised over £65 million, enabling us to safeguard 745 miles of coastline across the England, Wales and Northern Ireland (300 miles of which are in the south west).
The coast in the South West is visited and enjoyed every year by more than 22 million people with 63% of people regarding visiting the seaside or coast as important to their quality of life, but the future ongoing protection of these places is essential if our coast is to remain beautiful and accessible for future generations.
Throughout the year coastal events will be taking place at National Trust places across the South West. From the Beach Cleans to the Big Beach Picnic on the 4th July. Events which will help tell the stories of our coastline, celebrate everyone’s personal connections and memories as well as shining a light on the Trust’s work and cause.
More information on the 2015 Coastal Festival event as well as start times and meeting points of all beach cleans can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/swcoast
Beach Cleans are taking place across the South West in the following locations:
Sunday 15 March: Studland Bay, Dorset (01929 450580 or 07789 944437)
Tuesday 17 March: Chesil Beach, Dorset (01297 489481) & Woolacombe, Devon (01598 763402)
Wednesday 18 March: Lantic Bay, Cornwall (01872 580553) & Holywell and Crantock, Cornwall (01208 863046)
Thursday 19 March: Trenow, Cornwall (01736 791543), Cape Cornwall, Cornwall (01736 791543) & Lansallos Beach, Cornwall (01726 870 146)
Friday 20 March: Carne, Cornwall (01872 580553), Sandymouth, Cornwall (01208 863046) & Gunwalloe, Cornwall (01326 558423)
Saturday 21 March: Brean Down, Somerset (01452 814218), Bossington Beach, Dorset (01643 863150), Redcliffe Bay nr Portishead (01179 73 1645), Mansands, Devon (01803 842382) & Ayrmer Cove, Devon (01752 346585)
Sunday 22 March: South Milton Sands, Devon (01752 346585)