Call for beach lovers to join 25th annual coastal clean up

Date posted: 7 September 2018

Marine Conservation Society says volunteers are needed to help clean up at Gwithian

The UK’s leading marine charity says it hopes more people than ever before will take part in the 25th Great British Beach Clean - an annual event run by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). A clean-up is being run at Gwithian beach on Saturday 15th September 2018, at 12:30pm, and people are welcome to come along and lend a helping hand.

Cleaners will be joined by George Eustice, MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle and Minister of State, with responsibility for agriculture, fisheries and food. Mr Eustice said, “I have long been a supporter of the beach cleans organised by the Marine Conservation Society. Not only are they a great way of bringing people together but they also carry out an invaluable service of keeping our beaches clean. But there is still more that we can do to tackle the problems of litter on our beaches and raise awareness about the threat it poses to the marine environment and I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved and take part in turning the tide on litter.”

The events around Cornwall’s coastline will help ensure some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK aren’t being taken for granted.

The Great British Beach Clean is part of the MCS Beachwatch programme. It not only spruces up hundreds of beaches around the UK coast, but volunteers also record the litter they find, and it’s this aspect that has really helped MCS change policy and behaviours over the last quarter of a century.

The Great British Beach Clean is being sponsored by Waitrose for the second year in a row – cash from their carrier bag sales in England goes towards supporting MCS’ year round beach clean programme. MCS beach litter work is also supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The MCS beach clean event takes place every third weekend in September as part of the charity’s year round Beachwatch programme. Volunteers who get involved at Gwithian will be joining an army of beach cleaners not only around the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, but all over the world as part of the global International Coastal Clean-up, which takes a snap shot of beach litter across the planet on a single weekend.

Lizzie Prior, MCS Beach and River Clean Project Officer, says volunteers are the lifeblood of the event and have been since 1994. She says the data they collect is vital: “Last year an amazing 123 volunteers took part in the Great British Beach Clean on Cornish beaches. We’d love to see even more people heading to beaches around the county.

Each event only takes a couple of hours and, alongside the clean, 100 metres of beach are surveyed. The form is straightforward to complete, and helps MCS to add to the local and UK litter data picture, as well as the global view. Each clean-up has an organiser so there’s plenty of advice on the day on how to fill in the simple data sheets. This information will be used by MCS to work with governments and industry in the charity’s ongoing work to stop litter getting on to our beaches in the first place.

To get involved in the 25th Great British Beach Clean and be part of the most influential fight against marine litter in the UK click here. You can also speak to the team on 01989 566017.

The charity says it’s really helpful if people register their interest online before the event to ensure organisers have enough kit to go round! You can register right up until the very last minute online here. You can simply turn up on the day, meeting at the Godrevy end of Gwithian beach, in front of the beach entrance next to the Red River. If coming from the National Trust Car Park (postcode TR27 5ED), or Rockpool car park, use the bridge to cross over the Red River and walk down to the beach.

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Actions you can take

  1. Organise a beach clean
  2. Join a beach clean
  3. Visit the beachwatch website
  4. Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2017

Did you know?…

MCS launched its Beachwatch programme in 1994

Our Communications Team handle enquires from local, national and international media

Since the carrier bag charge came in across the UK, the Great British Beach Clean has recorded 40% fewer bags on beaches

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