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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

Another successful year on the Fylde Coast

Ready for some positive news? Take a look at what LOVEmyBEACH has achieved on the Fylde Coast in the last 12 months… All in the name of cleaner and safer beaches and seas!

 

It’s been another great year involving more interest in beach cleans than ever before, award winning volunteers, plastic reduction campaigns and strong relationships with communities, councils, schools and businesses! Take a look at our end of year report to find out more…

Here’s a snapshot of our achievements:

  • 380+ beach clean events on the Fylde Coast – our first year reaching over one a day!
  • 900+ new volunteers attending beach cleans (not including our monthly army of 200+ regulars)
  • 50+ corporate groups took part in a beach clean
  • 12,200+ volunteer hours given to cleaning beaches, saving the councils over £105,000
  • 9,100+ bags of litter removed from beaches and estuaries
  • 900+ school and college students took part in a beach clean, assembly or classroom session
  • 1600+ individual people received our LOVEmyBEACH messages at our events

Please take 5 minutes to read about more of our achievements from 2019/20 in the report below (just click the link):

Fylde BeachCare End of Year Report 2019-20

We’d like to thank all our volunteers, partners and supporters for their hard work over the last 12 months as without you LOVEmyBEACH would not create even half the impact!

Let’s Wipe Out Ocean Plastic! WOOP!

We can all do our bit for the environment, even if we are on lock down and that is why LOVEmyBEACH is launching a new campaign to Wipe Out Ocean Plastic – or WOOP!

Aimed at young people, and young women in particular, the campaign seeks to raise awareness of the fact that many of the products they most commonly use such as wet wipes and period care products contain plastic and when disposed of incorrectly can end up in our oceans, on our beaches and harm wildlife. 

Around 11 billion wet wipes are used in the UK each year and are the cause of 80 per cent of sewer blockages, costing £100 million a year. In addition, 1.5 billion period care products are flushed every year in the UK. Sadly, plastic waste kills around one million seabirds and 100,000 mammals every year.

Zephie Begolo, LOVEmyBEACH campaign manager said: “The vast majority of wet wipes and period care products are made of plastic that don’t break down in sewers. This can harm the environment in two ways: firstly, by causing sewer blockages and ‘fatbergs’ which can lead to sewer systems being overwhelmed and overflowing during times of increased rainfall, which can also lead to floods. And secondly, if they end up on beaches and in the ocean, they can cause serious harm to the environment and to wildlife.

“The good news is that we can all play a big part in protecting our oceans and wildlife by making some simple changes in our day-to-day lives.”

The WOOP! (Wipe Out Ocean Plastic) campaign encourages people to only throw single use items containing plastic in the bin and to never flush them down the loo. LOVEmyBEACH is also encouraging young women to look for alternatives on the market that won’t do as much damage to the environment, such as menstrual cups, ‘fine to flush’ wet wipes and period products that do not contain plastic.

“People might be wondering what they can do to help the environment while they are on lock down and spending a lot of time at home. In fact, there are lots of things we can do to protect our oceans and wildlife, even if we are nowhere near the coast,” Zephie commented.

You can help protect the environment from the comfort of your own home by taking these three easy steps:

  1. Never flush wet wipes, period products or anything else down the loo, unless it’s one of the 3 P’s – Pee, Poo and Paper!
  2. Always dispose of these unflushable items in a bin. It’s so easy and has a big impact.
  3. Look out for sustainable products that don’t contain plastic, such as reusable make up wipes, biodegradable pads and tampons or menstrual cups.

People can get involved in the campaign by sharing their pictures of how they are helping to Wipe Out Ocean Plastic and using the hashtag #WOOP!

For more information see our WOOP! page.