Fran's battle to save our seas

A CRUSADING Suffolk woman is battling to help the environment by collecting thousands of pieces of rubbish from the county's coastline.Fran Crowe, a recently graduated mature art student, decided she would do her bit to clean up after learning that on average there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter per square mile of ocean worldwide.

A CRUSADING Suffolk woman is battling to help the environment by collecting thousands of pieces of rubbish from the county's coastline.

Fran Crowe, a recently graduated mature art student, decided she would do her bit to clean up after learning that on average there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter per square mile of ocean worldwide.

She resolved to “save” one square mile of ocean by collecting 46,000 pieces of rubbish while walking on beaches near her home while at the same time raising funds for the Marine Conservation Society's “Coastal Challenge”.

Six months on, she has walked 127 km along beaches near her home and collected over 227kg of rubbish - amounting to more than 33,000 individual pieces.

In doing so she has more than £400 in sponsorship for the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the UK charity caring for seas, shores and wildlife.

Ms Crowe, who lives in Hyde Park Corner, Sudbourne, said: “It is horrifying just how much rubbish gets left or swept up on our beaches.

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“I keep thinking that it will become more difficult to find rubbish on my local beaches but each time I visit still more has been left behind or washed up.

“The 33,000 pieces I have collected are literally just a splash in the ocean.

“It's a frightening picture of our society that we use so much plastic and dispose of our debris so carelessly, endangering our wildlife in this way.

“I love walking by the sea so this is the ideal way to do my bit to help.'

More details of Fran's work and her progress with her 46,000 challenge can be found at her website, www.flyintheface.com.

She said she may make artwork out of some of the rubbish, but much of it would be recycled.

She is hoping to raise £1,000 towards the Marine Conservation Society Coastal Challenge - to sponsor her, visit to www.justgiving.com/francrowe.

n. Have you made efforts to help the environment? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

PANEL

Beach litter costs the UK millions of pounds in annual clean up costs.

Surveys indicate that in the last ten years beach litter has increased by 80 per cent.

It is estimated that globally, more than one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and turtles die every year from entanglement or ingestion of plastics.

Litter can be a health hazard, a deterrent to tourism and have economic impacts including the fouling of fishing gear and boat propeller entanglement.

Source: Marine Conservation Society.

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