Archive for the ‘Beach Clean’ Category

Half Moon Bay Beach Clean

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

Photo of litter pickers at Half Moon Bay, December 2017

We had both good weather, and a good turn-out to our the beach clean at Half Moon Bay on Saturday, thanks to everyone who managed to join us! The December clean is that last of the year for us, and adds quantitative knowledge of the amounts, types and sources of litter on the British coastline. Data from the ‘Great British Beach Clean’ in September is now available; regrettably this saw the MCS record a national 10% rise in the amount of litter collected from 2016. Despite the increasing awareness of plastic waste, the numbers of plastic fragments also increased year on year. National MCS has a number of initiatives to try and reduce single-use plastic packaging, the principle source of plastic waste, to find out more, visit:

mcsuk.org/appeal/stop-the-plastic-tide for more information, sign petitions or donate.

Deposit and return for plastic bottles

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

We have debated deposit and return for plastic bottles a couple of times in our public meetings, and I hope that many of you feel that charging a refundable deposit on all plastic bottles would be a good idea.

To get an idea of the scale of the problem; in 2007 approximately 13 billion plastic bottles of water were sold in the UK(1). It only takes a tiny number of people to toss their empty bottles aside, rather than recycling or even putting it in a bin for landfill, to make for an enormous mountain of rubbish that is going to litter  streets, our parks and the countryside around us.

Some of the rubbish dropped on land will be collected, by council workers or volunteers, but most of the plastic that ends up in the sea is going to be there for the next couple of hundred years. Here it is slowly ground up until it is small enough to eat…

A deposit scheme would reward people for returning plastic bottles for collection and recycling, and should have a positive impact on the urban landscape, and reduce significantly the numbers of bottles we find on our beaches – in 2016 the Great British Beach Clean recovered an average of 12.5 plastic bottles from every 100m of beach cleaned(2).

Over the past few years there have been a number of campaigns to increase general awareness of plastic as a litter problem. Finally, plastic bottles at least look to be a problem that we can solve, as large companies like Coca-Cola have come around to supporting a deposit scheme(3). If these large corporations think it can be made to work, there is a chance that our government can be made to listen.

You can support the Surfers Against Sewage campaign by adding your name to their petition on 38 Degrees:

Bring back bottle deposits to stop plastic pollution in our oceans.

Bary Kaye (Chair, Lancashire MCS)

References:

(1) Should we be using bottled water? Published by the Environmental Technology Centre, University of Nottingham

(2) Great British Beach Clean results 2016, Published by the MCS

(3) Coca-Cola supports Deposit Return System published by Surfers Against Sewage.

Beach clean April 2016

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Photo of beach clean volunteers at Half Moon Bay, April 2016

A big thank you to everyone who came along to help on Wednesday evening’s beach clean at Half Moon Bay, Heysham. Where we were treated to the best weather of the year so far – warm, blue skies (photo above, lit by the setting sun). It was also pleasant to find a relatively clean beach, which allowed us to cover a larger area than usual. Statistics will be reported to National MCS, who can use them to campaign to reduce the litter at source.

Our next beach clean is on Wednesday, 8 June at 18:30. Meet in the Half Moon Bay car park at 18:30. Suitable clothing and footwear, please bring tough gardening or similar gloves to protect your hands whilst collecting litter. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Followed by a walk to Heysham and drinks/food at the Royal (weather permitting, LW 21:00).

Other events: We have a guided walk around Throbshaw Point, Heysham with Arnside Natural History Society on Saturday 7th May between 14:00 and 17:00. Places are limited on this walk, please confirm attendance in advance. Suggested donation of £2 per person to MCS Lancashire area group.

Beach clean at Rossall Point

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

UPDATED: Beach clean organised by BBC Radio Lancashire with live music guests, at Rossall Point on Friday 1st April between 10:00 and 11:00.

Rossall point tower is easily accessible from the Rossall point pick nick car park (free). On Friday the 1st the litter pick will be taking place in front of the Tower and in both directions towards Rossall point and Fleetwood. The beach has a slight gradient to it and is predominantly shingle and sand (not too hard to walk on) with a number of groins on it.
High tide that day is at 18:24.

All the equipment needed – pickers, bags, hoops and gloves will be provided by the organisers, plus and coffee or tea of course! Times still a little uncertain, but Radio Lancashire will be broadcasting from 0930, and the litter pick will start a little after 10.

There will be a number of groups helping pick litter, love my beach, Wyre waters partnership and any volunteers that can make it!

Beach clean (8th July)

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

Cuttlebone - provides lift for the Cuttlefish, allowing it to hover in the water without expending energy swimming.
Cuttlebone – provides lift for the Cuttlefish, allowing it to hover in the water without expending energy swimming.

A few interesting natural history finds amidst the litter on the the July Beach Clean at Half Moon Bay, Heysham. These included a dead porpoise, two adult cuttlebones and some wireweed (Sargassum muticum).

Cuttlebones are the internalised shells of cuttlefish, formed of delicate lemellae and filled with gas, the organ holds the live cuttlefish at a fixed height in the water column, without them having to expend energy swimming. They also limit the maximum depth this animal can attain, as below 50m or so the cuttlebone would implode. A mating pair of cuttlefish were seen by group members at Roa Island some years ago.

The porpoise was a rather sad sight, there are not many reports of these animals in Morecambe Bay, with its shallow waters and treacherous tides. The state of decomposition suggested that the corpse may have drifted in from elsewhere…

Wireweed is not native to British waters, having been introduced accidentally with Pacific Oysters, which are bred around the coastline.

The problem with plastic

Monday, November 24th, 2014

A short, but instructive, video about the dangers of our addiction to plastic for National Geographic. Plastic is the major component of beach litter, it is the cause of death for large numbers of sea creatures every year, and is finding its way into our diet. Thanks to Fiona for pointing me at this!

Beach Clean

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Beach Clean September 2014

Above – photo taken after the big beach clean on Saturday 20th September 2014.

Locals have been working hard to keep the beach tidy, and it was good to see it in a pretty clean condition when we arrived. There was much less sewage related waste than we have seen in the past, which is also good news, but expected as we have had a prolonged period of calm weather. Less good, we found our first sharp on the beach, a discarded hypodermic needle. Otherwise most of the rubbish was cigarette ends and sweety wrappers, almost certainly left by visitors to the beach.

Thanks to Sandra Moon of Morecambe and Heysham Soroptomists and Lancashire MCS for organising our local annual big beach clean at Half Moon Bay, Heysham.

Big Beach Clean up

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

On  the morning of Friday 11th. May about thirty people came along to Sandylands at Morecambe to help clear and record items of  litter from a long stretch of the beach.  The event was organised by the Marine Conservation Society and sponsored by Marks and Spencer as part of the Big Beach Watch weekend with similar events taking place all around the UK.  After collecting the obvious items, bottles, drinks cans and all manner of items made from plastic attention turned to the large sea defence boulders at the top of the beach. It was from here that the bulk of the litter came, mostly in the form of rope, fishing net and plastic strapping band which filled a large number of plastic sacks.  Marine litter is a massive problem, not only around the UK, but world wide. It is estimated that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile in the world’s oceans.  Marine litter is an eyesore, it costs everyone money to  remove it and also the cost to the local economy,  its  a health hazard to both wildlife and human beings alike. Discarded plastic can be regarded as the major pollution problem of the 21st century both at sea and on the land.  After a snack lunch provided by M&S a small group enjoyed a walk along the shore at Half Moon Bay, Heysham organised by Lancs. Local MCS Group where we spent an hour or so looking at the many different plants and animals to be found there.  The next beach clean/litter survey will take place at Half Moon Bay, Heysham on Saturday 16th. June at 12.00hrs. If possible please come along and help to combat this massive marine litter problem, it will be an hour well spent.

Beach litter survey

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Very well done to everyone that turned up at Half Moon Bay, Heysham on Sunday 16th. Jan. to take part in the winter beach litter survey. The forecast for the weekend was very wet and windy, and sure enough the forecast was correct on Sunday morning, extremely wet. Wind and rain are not the ideal conditions for filling in recording sheets or managing  flapping  plastic collecting bags. The rain did ease a little whilst we were on the beach which was a help and the survey was completed successfully albeit with soggy recording sheets to decipher in the comfort of a motor car.

Beach litter survey

Monday, December 20th, 2010

A big thank you to everyone who turned out on Sunday – unfortunately an inch of snow on the beach made it impractical to do any beach cleaning! We’ll re-schedule in January…