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