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Love my Beach tackling visitor litter & asks public to take it home

As we ease out of lockdown, the LOVEmyBEACH campaign, delivered by national charity Keep Britain Tidy, is calling on all visitors to the Fylde Coast’s beaches to help tackle the mounting problem of beach litter by asking all visitors to be responsible when visiting by disposing of their litter.

Increased visitor numbers to the Fylde Coast in the hot weather has resulted in horrendous levels of litter left on the beaches and the LOVEmyBEACH litter picking volunteers have had to work over time to keep our beaches clean and safe.

Over the last month over 200 hours have already been spent beach cleaning by the LOVEmyBEACH army of volunteers – a total that is growing weekly. The St Annes North BeachCare group of 6 volunteers have removed over 190kg of litter from the beach and dunes alone.

Carol Mooney, volunteer leader of Bispham Coastal Care said: “As a volunteer I have been concerned about the amount of litter which has accumulated since the lockdown. So I was really excited to hear that Keep Britain Tidy and LOVEmyBEACH were restarting all beach cleans and litter picks. And it was a great relief to hear that safety was made a priority by limiting groups to a maximum of six people. It was lovely to meet up with other volunteers again and it brought back a little bit of normality in a strange world!”

LOVEmyBEACH beach cleans were suspended due to government restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, however volunteer clean-ups resumed at the beginning of June in small groups of six observing social distancing and following the strict government safety guidelines.

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, over 250 LOVEmyBEACH volunteers were out each month on the Fylde Coast and collected over 9000 bags of litter in the last 12 months.

The LOVEmyBEACH team, along with Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre councils have also given out over 100 sets of equipment to enable volunteers to head out beach cleaning in their own time, alone or in pairs.

Keep Britain Tidy’s LOVEmyBEACH Officer Emily Parr commented: “We have had huge numbers of visitors coming to the Fylde Coast in recent weeks and the result has been disastrous for our beaches as many people are failing to use the bins available or take their litter home.

“We would ask everyone who comes to the Fylde Coast to play their part and use the bins provided by the councils. If the bins are full, then people should take their litter home and bin it there. Leaving rubbish next to a bin is still littering and people can be fined.

“With our wonderful LOVEmyBEACH volunteers back out beach cleaning and protecting our coastline once again, the campaign is now calling on the public to do their bit and use a bin or take their rubbish home.”

LOVEmyBEACH beach cleans are still not open to the public due to public and volunteer safety concerns. We will be fully operational again once it is safe to do so.

Visit www.lovemybeach.org for more information or contact Emily Parr.

Emily Parr Fylde Beach Care Officer

emily.parr@keepbritaintidy.org

07384 119259

Take your litter home!

Many of us have been enjoying time at the coast in the sunny weather, but unfortunately, this has meant that a lot of litter has been left on the beaches. Please take your litter home!

Litter ruins the beach, can harm people and wildlife and can end up in the ocean. With councils busy at the moment dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak, this is causing more work for already stretched local authorities.

We can all play a part in keeping our beaches clean and safe:

  1. Take your litter home
  2. Take a bag with you to the beach so that you can take it with you
  3. Use bins provided if there is space
  4. Don’t leave litter by a full bin
  5. Don’t take disposable BBQs to the beach – they can cause fires and harm wildlife

We live in a beautiful place – let’s keep it that way!

 

 

 

Pebbles belong on the beach!

Recently increasing numbers of people are taking pebbles from our beaches, to decorate and be used as messages of hope and positivity in these difficult times. Although a seemingly thoughtful idea, did you know every small pebble and rock plays a very important role on the beach and altering this environment can lead to serious consequences?

 

Each pebble, no matter how small, acts as a natural flood defence, protecting the surrounding area and homes from potentially serious flooding. The pebbles absorb the sea’s energy and prevent the formation of bigger waves. Without these pebbles or shingle banks, waves would continue building to full force and the larger the waves, the higher the risk of flooding.

On beaches where there is also a sea wall, the pebbles actually protect it from erosion and damage – acting as a natural cost saver.

Alongside this pebbles play a vital role in the unique ecosystem found on shingle beaches, which is home to highly specialized plant and animal species. A pebble beach might seem a seem hostile environment, but actually it is rich in life! Shingle beaches act as nesting grounds for birds, such as Ringed Plover, and even resting grounds for migratory species. Breeding birds such as gulls, waders and terns enjoy a shingle beach and you’ll often spot Sanderlings, Turnstones and many more searching for food amongst the pebbles.

Above the tideline, you’ll find many species of bees, insects and even spiders amongst the plants, such as Sea Holly, Sea Kale, Sea Beet and the beautiful Yellow Horned Poppy.

Since the Coastal Protection Act of 1949, removing stones from public beaches is actually illegal. You might think that taking just one of a few pebbles is harmless and won’t lead to flooding or damaged habitats. However, think if every visitor to the beach took one pebble away with them…

Recent suggestions to decorate pebbles and display them around streets and parks, is not the most responsible way of spreading hope and positivity in these difficult times. We can show thanks to key workers and lift spirits in other ways – rainbows in windows, clapping for carers or leaving written messages of hope on paper. Please help spread the message and raise awareness of the importance of these unassuming little rocks!

Next time you visit the beach, remember leave only footprints and take only memories…

If you’d like to find out more about the shingle beaches of the North West, take a look at our Find A Beach page.

Shingle