Beachwatch has been using the same methodology for over 20 years, so that we can compare beaches, counties, regions and countries to track trends and sources.

Here's how we do it:

1. Choose a survey window for your beach clean:

  • Autumn:  Mid September – Mid October (Ideally on the third weekend of September to coincide with the Great British and Great Channel Islands and Northern Irish Beach Clean and the international coastal cleanup )
  • Winter: Mid December – Mid January
  • Spring: April
  • Summer: Mid June – Mid July
  • You can submit data at any time of year though

Visual representation of Beachwatch Methodology

2. Survey 100m along the beach (horizontal to the sea) - pace or measure this out and survey the same 100m on every event.

3. Survey from the strandline (high tide mark - often a line of seaweed) to the usable back of the beach (e.g. the promenade or sand dunes)

4. Record everything you find over that 100m

5. Add it to our database