Massive beach clean-up

VOLUNTEERS will be out in force this weekend to take part in a massive beach clean-up – with the event getting under way early today at Felixstowe.To encourage people to join the Beachwatch survey, Euro MP Richard Howitt rolled up his sleeves to see first-hand the rubbish washed up on Suffolk's shores.

VOLUNTEERS will be out in force this weekend to take part in a massive beach clean-up – with the event getting under way early today at Felixstowe.

To encourage people to join the Beachwatch survey, Euro MP Richard Howitt rolled up his sleeves to see first-hand the rubbish washed up on Suffolk's shores.

He joined a team from Suffolk Wildlife Trust at Landguard Point to collect and bag litter from the beach.

Mr Howitt said: "Like many of our shores, Landguard beach finds itself exposed to large amounts of marine litter, so it's vital that a survey is carried out each year to monitor its effects.


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"European parliament is at the forefront of tough environmental legislation and I will continue to campaign for clean beaches in Suffolk.

"The coast of Britain is a national treasure and beach litter is more than just an eyesore – it is a problem on a major scale, costing local authorities in the UK, and ultimately the taxpayer, an estimated £14.5 million annually.

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"Litter items such as nets, rope and six-pack yokes pose a threat to wildlife, which can become entangled in them, while some species mistake plastic bags and pieces for food and swallow them, with potentially fatal consequences."

Last year's Beachwatch weekend, organised by the Marine Conservation Society, saw more than 2,600 volunteers clean and survey 244 beaches.

They collected more than 250,000 items of litter, a 29 per cent increase in the number of litter items recorded per kilometre compared with the previous year.

In Suffolk, 100 volunteers collected 14,405 items of litter from 10,000 metres of coastline surveyed.

Landguard ranger Malte Iden said volunteers would take part in Beachwatch at the nature reserve tomorrow from 9.30am to 11.30am and helpers would be more than welcome.

"People who wish to take part should meet at Suffolk Wildlife Trust's centre by the radar tower at Landguard Point," he said.

"We will be asking them to record the type and quantity of litter found on the beach as well as removing all the rubbish they find."

Past results show that the most common source of litter is from beach visitors, sewage related debris, fishing items and shipping waste.

"Plastics usually account for over 50pc of total beach litter found during surveys every year. Being non biodegradable this can persist on beaches and in the sea for decades," said Mr Iden.

WEBLINKS: www.mcsuk.org

www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org

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