Lilstock Beach Clean-Up (February 24, 2013) by Abbie Barnes

Mar 13th, 2013 | By | Category: Environmental News, Youth Blog

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I had originally arranged a small family beach clean-up as a film shoot for my entry into the 2013 EcoTales film competition, but as my knowledge and understanding of plastics in the ocean and the sheer scale of the problem grew, the event quickly turned into a community effort in an attempt to help clean up Somerset’s coastline.

The night before the clean-up I was concerned due to the snow and weather warnings forecast, but on the following morning, after a successful journey to the coast, I was rewarded by having a fantastic crew of 25 well-wrapped-up supporters ready for action.

After a brief introduction, we worked from 11 AM until just past 12 PM. The initial plan was to work until 1 PM, but we had to call everyone in early as it would have been impossible to transport all of the rubbish collected – there was so much! A Greggs basket, a pair of wellies [rubber boots], traffic cone, piping, nets, a fold-away seat, a sledge, boxes, and more – we were astonished by the huge amount that we found, after only scouring a 500 meter area.

It was heartbreaking to know that although we were removing a great deal of rubbish, the next tide to come in would inevitably bring in similar quantities, and that this was only one single location in the whole world; nevertheless, we collected all we could.
During this time, as the snow sought to halt us in our efforts, I interviewed many willing participants about why the coastline is important to them, and what they know or feel about the issue of plastics in our oceans. They were all correct in saying “We need change and we need it now.”

The morning was concluded by the end shot for my film, with everyone gathered around the masses of rubbish, shouting, “Save our oceans, recycle your plastic.” Despite the freezing weather conditions and bitter wind, we kept a cheery smile on and left knowing that we were helping to make a positive impact on our planet. Thank you to everyone who aided me in speaking out for our oceans, and I strongly encourage that others follow the example set by this hardy bunch.



By Abbie Barnes, Volunteer Youth Blogger










Photos from the Beach Clean-Up Abbie organized. (Photo credits: A. Barnes)

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