Avoid a festive fatberg this Christmas!

We all love a proper Christmas dinner with turkey, roast potatoes and all the trimmings! But did you know that you can help our coastline from the comfort of your kitchen this festive season?

We’re asking everyone to do their bit to keep the beaches clean this Christmas by binning their used cooking fats and oil rather than pouring them down the sink.

If you pour leftover fat from cooking down the sink, even with hot water and washing up liquid, it sets hard in the cold pipes and mixes with other unmentionables flushed down the loo, like wet wipes and sanitary products.

As well as causing problems at home, clogged sewer pipes that take waste water away can cause untreated sewage to run into homes, gardens, streets and even end up in rivers, the sea and on beaches. Yuk!

Each household pours around 14lbs of cooking fats, oils and grease down the sink every year – that’s equivalent to 25 packs of butter! Clearing a blocked drain at your house could cost at least £60 but could be much more. United Utilities attends a blocked drain every 15 minutes.

Protecting our waste pipes from getting blocked and polluting our rivers and seas means everyone doing their bit to help keep them clear.

LOVEmyBEACH, the North West campaign for cleaner beaches and seas has some top tips to avoid blockages:

  • Scrape leftover fat from roasting trays and pans into a heat resistant container then recycle or bin it when cooled
  • Wipe out grease left in pans with kitchen roll and bin it
  • Use a sink strainer to catch food scraps and bin
  • For larger quantities of cooking oils, contact your local council who’ll let you know if and where they can be recycled

Morecambe Bay and Cumbria LOVEmyBEACH officer Hannah Barnes said,

“Everyone loves the beach and wants to help keep them clean, but most people don’t know they can help do this from their home by binning used cooking fats and keeping the pipes clear. Even if you can’t come out on a beach clean you can do this small action that will make a big difference, so please #binit4beaches this Christmas!”

Christmas Posts

Meet our new officer!

Meet our new Fylde LOVEmyBEACH Officer Emily!

With Emma moving on to pastures new, Emily is very excited to join the team as she has grown up on the Fylde coast and has been a regular volunteer on our beach cleans for the last few years.

She learnt to scuba dive in the beautiful waters of Thailand and has been completely in love with the ocean ever since! She was lucky enough to live on a remote beach in Mexico for a few months, monitoring the health of the coral reef every day. Emily ran weekly beach cleans there, although they were much warmer than those on the Fylde Coast!

Some of our volunteers will already recognise Emily as she has been working on the Fylde Coast for the last 18 months, delivering Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s marine project. She is over the moon to be joining LOVEmyBEACH, to help spread the message about how we can all help protect our beautiful local beaches and sea. Be sure to say hello if you see her out and about on the beach!

Emily Parr photo

Cleaner Seas in the North West!

No matter whether you enjoy a swim, paddle or stroll along one of the region’s beautiful beaches, you can rest assured that the North West has some of the cleanest bathing waters in the UK.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published statistics that reveal that 97% of the North West’s bathing waters meet the government’s required standards for water quality.

The 2018 classifications of bathing waters across the North West (26 coastal, 4 in-land) are;

10 are Excellent – the highest, cleanest class and the required standard to quality for Blue Flag status; 16 are Good – generally good water quality; 3 are Sufficient – the water meets minimum standard and 1 is Poor.

You can check the water quality for your nearest beach by using our map feature.

One of the highlights from this year’s results is on Walney Island, where two bathing water sites have improved on their classification. Both Sandy Gap and West Shore have achieved Good status, an excellent boost for Cumbria’s coastline.

All bathing waters on the Sefton and Wirral coast are rated either Good or Excellent, and so are the only fresh water sites in the region. All four bathing locations on Lake Windermere are, once again, rated Excellent.

A range of stakeholders have contributed to reducing pollution and improving the regions rivers, lakes and the sea, including the Environment Agency, United Utilities and the local authorities.

Additionally, hundreds of residents from across the North West have engaged with LOVEmyBEACH; acting on advice related to what not to flush and picking up after their dogs at the beach. Even though lots of good work has already been done, there’s still more to do. Why not see how you can help our coastline from the comfort of your own home by making simple, easy changes or come along and enjoy the scenery by taking part in a beach clean.