Great British Beach Clean for groups and schools

Kids beach cleaning

Taking part in a beach clean and survey event is an excellent way of encouraging young people to connect with their local environment, take community responsibility and enjoy the great outdoors. Great British Beach Clean is an 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?!

Finding an event

Find your local event and register your group here. If there’s not a suitable event near you, become an organiser and add your own event. There’s heaps of information to support you.

Before the day

Register for your chosen event, making sure you check the 'groups' box and give the number in your group.

Download your free copy of Teach on the Beach, packed with games, activities and advice for a fun filled, educational day at the beach with your class or group.

Discuss the event with your group, outlining expectations and, if appropriate go through the survey form. For younger children the content may not be appropriate in which case an adult should survey for each group on the day.

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).

Discuss the safety details below and general organisation for the day with your students before you arrive at the beach.

What to bring

  • Drinking water in a re-useable bottle
  • Gloves
  • Suitable clothing, including closed shoes and rain coat
  • A copy of Teach on the Beach and any resources you need
  • 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

As there are obvious risks related to working on a beach, groups should be divided into smaller groups of 4/5 with an adult working with each, for children under 11. This is to ensure both the safety of the children and the accuracy of the data recording. Please note, young people remain the responsibility of their class teacher or group leader at all times.

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 our pollution work.

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. Survey forms and equipment should be handed in at the end. The results of the UK wide GBBC will be released later in the year.

Most importantly though, Great British Beach Clean is a chance for children to have a bit of fun and be empowered to do their bit for nature, key skills for the modern world.