As it was the last Thursday in the month we had our regular Colourful Coast beach clean. 32 wonderful people came along to Whitehaven’s North Shore in the bright and chilly winter sunshine.
With this many people we decided to do a litter survey as well as a beach clean. We use the Marine Conservation Society survey methodology so that we can add all of our data to the national picture of marine litter around the UK. Our project officer, Sophie, has spent the afternoon adding all the results together and loading them onto the MCS website. The results can be found her – 191031 Whitehaven North Shore – Survey.
What the results don’t show is the massive amount of net that a few hardy volunteers spent all their time trying to remove. This involves sitting on cold rocks and using a hacksaw to cut through all of the tangled net and then dragging it back up the rocks. Along with 12 bags of rubbish, 3 large pieces of metal and some fencing today was a very good day and we left the beach a lot cleaner.
As always, a massive thank you to our volunteers. See you at St Bees in November??
Last week we had our usual monthly beach clean in St Bees. 10 wonderful volunteers came along to help out and instead of heading towards Pow Beck and under the cliffs of Tomlin we set off with the aim of walking down to Seamill Lane and focussing our attentions on this end of the beach.
There was so much beach litter that we didn’t get very far! The volunteers diligently cracked on with the task of collecting and recording all the litter they could find. The results of the survey are below – as always lots of plastic but not as much sanitary waste as we find when we beach clean near Pow Beck, the results can be found here 190328 St Bees – Survey
In amongst all of the litter there was one exciting find…a pipefish. These sea creatures are related to seahorses. Usually found in shallow water, camouflaged amongst seagrass and seaweed. They’re found along the coast of Britain and eat tiny plankton which they suck up through their snout like noses. Definitely an exciting find, and a little reward for beach cleaning!
The next day we were lucky enough to host the North Lakes National Trust team’s start of season meeting. Along with hearing about all of the exciting things the teams are up to across the whole property (which stretches from Borrowdale to Ennerdale and Buttermere to the coast) we also got 30 of the team out for a beach clean.
Despite the large numbers of beach cleaners the rubbish we found didn’t pile up very highly – a testament to the fact that we find so much small plastic waste at St Bees. One challenge we gave to the team was to try and fill a jar with cotton bud sticks to illustrate the issue we have at St Bees. Well, the team didn’t disappoint!
712! 712 cotton bud sticks found in one hour by our team. That’s quite a shocking number. We’re thinking about what we need to do try and tackle this issue. If you’d like to see full results of what was found the full report can be seen here 190329 St Bees – Survey