Over 100 people spent the day collecting 1000 Kg (1 tonne) of rubbish when they took part in Beachwatch – a national event run by the Marine Conservation Society to clear up local beaches to prevent harm to wildlife.
Organised by Andrew Cassy, BT sustainability champion at Adastral Park in Suffolk, and supported by the district scout groups, the event attracted over 100 scouts, plus many Trimley St Mary schoolchildren, local villagers and BT volunteers. Over the course of 6 hours they cleared a remote stretch of beach at the Suffolk Wildlife Trust Trimley Nature Reserve.
The beach adopted by Adastral Park is a 2.5 mile stretch, from Fagbury Point (along the Orwell shoreline, adjacent to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust Trimley Marsh nature reserve) to Loompit Lake.
The coast is a major feature for Suffolk, attracting many visitors and locals. It is also very sensitive to climate change, erosion and other environmental factors, especially pollution.
As the area is so remote, the rubbish is not left by walkers – but is washed ashore. It is just along the coast from Felixstowe, one of the country’s biggest ports.
Andrew said: “Beachwatch 2010 is part of Adastral Park’s social responsibility and community engagement activities – to raise awareness and take action on local environmental issues.”
Unusual items collected included an old deckchair, a working watch, lighters, syringes, rope, and wood.
Andrew concluded: “At the end of the day, there was a massive visual improvement to the area. But the biggest benefit will be for the wildlife.
“It was the first time the scouts had been involved with this event and they really made a massive impact – we had the biggest individual event turn out and refuse collection in Suffolk, if not the UK. ”
In Suffolk, Beachwatch (and the year-round Adopt-a-Beach scheme) is promoted and co-ordinated by the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team. In conjunction with Suffolk Coastal District Council, they provide volunteers with equipment to make the task easier and help keep them safe in the process. The Crown Estate helped to purchase further equipment for this year’s event, and Adnams brewery provided a drinks voucher for all participants.