This April, National Trust rangers at Formby beach near Liverpool welcomed a team of volunteers to help with their Big Beach Clean.
The clean-up operation, organised by the Marine Conservation Society, attracted some 90 volunteers who collected a staggering 2,075 discarded items of litter. The selection of rubbish weighed in at over 340 kg and even included a rusty watering can and a large bakery crate.
Formby attracts visitors throughout the year, from picnicking families to dog walkers who come to enjoy the ever-changing sandy coastline.
Kate Martin, Area Ranger at Formby, said: “This is the second Big Beach Clean that has taken place at Formby and both have been a fantastic success. It was incredible how much the team managed to collect in just 3 hours! It was a fantastic achievement and shows what can be done when people pull together to help out. We saw volunteers from the local community, but they also came from far flung places such as Manchester!
“Although this event is really positive there is also a more worrying side to it which is the effect that litter has on beach and marine environments. Whether it is people leaving their picnic litter on the beach or flotsam jettisoned from shipping, it all has a serious impact on these fragile environments and can lead to the deaths of marine and coastal animals.”
Rachel Stephens, Beach Clean Administrator for the Marine Conservation Society, said: “I’ve been involved with organising the Marine Conservation Society and Marks & Spencer Big Beach Clean-up events for the past two and a half years. The National Trust team at Formby and the volunteers have always been incredibly helpful and supportive; their positive assistance makes my job of arranging the event so much easier!
“We are all working towards the same goal: to rid our marine environment of litter, and in working together it helps us get that bit closer. It’s a big task, but the support given by volunteers at the clean-up shows that people care and are passionate about helping this beautiful beach.”