Beach Cleaning for groups and schools

Kids beach cleaning

Taking part in a beach clean and survey event is a great opportunity to take learning outside and into the local environment. Marine litter is a problem that we can all play a part in solving, and what better way to start than with a day at the beach?! 

Ways to get Involved

1. Join our year-round Beachwatch programme, with events held throughout the year

2. Take part in the Great British Beach Clean, our yearly flagship event held on the third weekend in September around the UK. 

Next steps:

sign up to a clean led by one of our Beachwatch volunteer organisers or register as an organiser yourself and lead your own beach clean for your group. Your school or group could even adopt the beach to survey four times a year and you'll receive guidance to help you get set up.

If you chose to join a clean, here's what you'll need to do.

Before the day 

  • Register for your chosen event, making sure you check the 'groups' box and give the number in your group. 
  • Arrange adult helpers. We require the following MINIMUM adult/pupil ratios:

                                                 Under 7 1/6

                                                7 - 11 Years 1/10

                                               12 -16 Years 1/15

  • Talk to your group about the event. Go through the survey form. For younger children it may be easier for an adult to fill in the survey form.
  • Organise pupils into groups of 4/5. Under 7s will need an adult per group to survey. Please note, young people remain the responsibility of their class teacher or group leader at all times. 
  • Discuss the safety details below and general organisation for the day with your students before you arrive at the beach. 
  • Use an interactive map to locate your local beach. Examine the map, identifying key features (compass points, land, ocean) to orientate children. Zoom in to examine features children may be familiar with, or that identify this particular beach (pier, esplanade, amusements etc). 
  • Download your free copy of Teach on the Beach. It's packed with games, activities and advice for a fun-filled, educational day at the beach with your class or group. 

Everyone needs 

  • Drinking water in a re-useable bottle 

  • Suitable clothing, including closed shoes, rain coat and hat

  • Sun cream 

  • If you are going to have a packed lunch, challenge the children to try and bring foods with as little plastic packaging as possible 

On the day 

Be sure to arrive in good time as there will be an important safety briefing given by the organiser. Young people should be encouraged to listen carefully and adult leaders should reiterate key points as necessary. Identify the survey area and make it clear to your group that they must not leave this area without permission. Please also reiterate the importance of surveying each piece of litter as the data is vital to helping clean up our oceans. 

Groups should work their way across the survey area collecting every man-made litter item that it is safe to pick up. Each item should be recorded on the survey form. The aim is to remove every bit of litter over the 100m stretch. This will then be collected and weighed. Adults should work with groups to help them identify and survey litter accurately. Survey forms and equipment should be handed in at the end. If you're taking part in the Great British Beach Clean in September - we'll release the results of all the finds in November. 

Enjoy! Beach cleaning empowers children to do their bit for nature and learn how their actions impacts on our oceans.