The UK’s biggest beach clean up is set to go ahead again next month, with high hopes that it will help to reduce the worst of the damage caused to UK beaches by recent storms and washed up litter.
The Big Beach Clean Up, run by Marks and Spencer’s and the Marine Conservation Society calls on volunteers to help clean up beaches and canals around the UK from the 24th-30th April.
Last year, the event saw over 9000 volunteers clean up over 30,000kg of litter from 113 beaches and 50 canals across the country. This year, the levels of collected litter is expected to be even higher, after recent storms washed up high levels of waste onto the UK’s beaches, particularly on the south coast, where conditions were at their worst.
Volunteers from last year’s event collected the usual litter expected from beaches including plastic bottles, fishing nets and food wrappers, but a number of unexpected items appeared too, including a bath, a fire extinguisher and an old Freeview box!
Samantha Fanshawe, chief executive of the MCS was full of praise for last year’s volunteers, saying: “M&S employee and customer support for beach cleans last year really helped us to turn a corner in the fight against beach litter. It is fantastic to have their support again this year and we’re hoping for a massive turn out from the public.”
The Marine Conservation Society have reported high numbers of dead sea birds across UK coastlines since the storms began to hit the country at the end of 2013. Many of these birds were tangled in fishing nets or waste plastic, or shown to have consumed litter such as cigarette butts and bottle caps. This shows how keeping beaches across the country clean is more important than ever, with the lives of many rare and endangered sea birds and other wildlife at risk.
The Big Beach Clean Up combines the task of beach cleaning with a fun, family day out and plans to hold a number of organised events across the UK’s beaches and canals to encourage as many people as possible to join in. Anyone interested in taking part in the event can register here.
Image sourced: Joshua Drewtagsbig beach clean upcoastlinegreen eventsuk beaches