Over the last 20 years we’ve made huge progress in making our beaches and bathing waters cleaner.
In 1988 only 18% of our bathing waters met minimum standards, in 2016 this was 100%.
Below is information on how we got there and how we’ll 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

Love Your Beach on Lock Down!

There are many of us out there who care a great deal about the environment and want to do everything we can to protect it. It’s why we have so many amazing and dedicated volunteers who go out come rain or shine to keep our beaches clean and safe. We can’t get down to the beach at the moment to do litter picks, but the good news is there are lots of things we can do while at home that can keep our oceans and beaches clean and protect wildlife! Here are our top tips on how to love your beach while on lock down!

Only Flush the 3 P’s!

One really simple way to protect the ocean and wildlife is to stop using our toilets as a bin and to only flush the 3 P’s – Pee, Poo and Paper! Even though it might be hard to get hold of toilet rolls at the moment, alternatives like kitchen roll and wet wipes do not break down in the sewage system and can cause blockages and the dreaded fatbergs.

Wipe Out Ocean Plastic

Our new campaign WOOP! (Wipe Out Ocean Plastic) highlights the environmental impact of flushing some of the most commonly flushed items – wet wipes and period care products. Many people don’t realise that most of these products contain plastic and can cause blockages costing millions to repair and can also end up in the sea, causing harm to the environment and wildlife.

We recommend ditching single use products in favour of reusable items such as menstrual cups, period pants and reusable make up pads. These are not only better for the planet, but they will also save you lots of money too. Another option is to opt for plastic-free, biodegradable period care products like TOTM (who deliver to your door in time for your cycle every month) and Natracare.

To make this easier, we have teamed up with TOTM to offer a discount by using following codes:

–              TOTMWOOP30 (30% off first subscription order, valid on organic range)
–              TOTMWOOPCUP (15% off TOTM menstrual cup via www.totm.com)

Only rain down the drain!

Only rain should go down our drains, so if you are doing a bit of car maintenance or DIY, please make sure you don’t pour any paint, chemicals or oils down street drains. The same goes for our indoor drains – reducing the amount of chemicals that go down the drain helps to protect our oceans. You can go a step further and opt for eco cleaning products such as Ecover, or even make your own!

Guppyfriend laundry pouches ensure that even micro plastics don’t enter our water system!

Another really simple tip is to prevent fats, oils and greases going down the sink. Simply allow the grease to cool and either scrape it or wipe it off with some kitchen roll and then dispose of it in the bin. This stops the greases congealing in the sewer system and combining with items like wet wipes to form fatbergs, which can lead to floods and overflows (which is how items flushed down the loo end up in the sea), and cost millions every year to clear away.

Make Eco Bricks

Many of us are ordering food and other products online and the use of plastics seems to be shooting up! Please recycle your plastics and dispose of, or reuse, those you can’t. Another great option is to make Eco Bricks with your non-recyclable plastic. These are plastic bottles stuffed with plastic that are then used to create building blocks that can be used to create all sorts of things from furniture to play parks!

Also, always remember your tote bags when going out shopping!

Grow your own food

Most of us don’t have access to an allotment and many of us don’t even have any outdoor space. But did you know you can grow your own food from kitchen scraps? Here are a few ideas but with a bit of internet research you will be able to find many more!

Another great idea is to get involved in an organic veg box scheme. Better for the planet and supporting local producers, veg boxes come in all shapes and sizes and provide regular deliveries of veg to your door. This is perfect while on lock down!

Save Water

Now that we are all washing our hands all the time, we are using a lot more water. Why not put a bowl under the sink to capture it and use it to water your plants? And when it comes to flushing the loo, adopt the mantra ‘if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down’!

And when it comes to boiling the kettle, make sure you only use as much water as you need.

Switch to a green energy supplier

Climate change is not going away, even if we are all preoccupied with Coronavirus. Now that we are all spending more time at home and using more energy, it is the perfect time to consider switching to a green energy supplier so that our carbon footprint is dramatically reduced.

Remember to turn off all appliances you aren’t using or before you go to bed!

Simple Switches

Now that you have a bit of time on your hands, why not take a look around your house – what simple switches could you make to remove plastic or help the environment? There are wooden toothbrushes, beeswax wraps, coconut husk scourers, plastic-free products like deodorant, shampoo and toothpaste – the list is endless!

Waste Less, Live More

By taking simple steps like planning out meals, saving left overs and making meals from scraps or food on the turn, we can prevent more food from going to landfill, we waste less and spend less too. Is there a banana looking a bit brown? Turn it into a banana bread! Got some fruit or veg looking a bit worse for wear? As long as it isn’t mouldy or going off, these can be blitzed into a smoothie or soup. Always put unusable scraps in the food recycling if you have it.

 

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!