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…

Love my Beach and Sandymental join forces to tackle beach litter

LOVEmyBEACH has joined forces with local artist, Sandymental, to tackle the mounting problem of beach litter plaguing our coastline in a novel way. A giant piece of sand art, measuring 25 metres, was created at Bispham on Friday urging beach goers to ‘leave only footprints’.

Increased visitor numbers to the Fylde Coast in the recent good weather has resulted in higher levels of litter than normal and unfortunately, much of this has been left behind on beaches. Despite more bins and signage, an army of volunteer beach cleaners and social media campaigns urging visitors to dispose of their litter responsibly, some people haven’t taken the message on board!

LOVEmyBEACH and Sandymental knew something more needed to be done to tackle the problem. Wanting to grab people’s attention in a different way, a 25 metre sand drawing was hard to miss.

The piece was created by Ben Higginson, taking 10 hours from design to completion. The drawing was designed at home on paper first and then Ben headed to the beach with a rake and began with 4 large circles, used as reference points. With the outline in the sand, next comes the detail alongside plenty of prayers that a dog doesn’t run across the drawing.

It was third time lucky for this design, after weather and tides put the earlier attempts on hold.

Sandymental are brother and sister due, Ben and Jax Higginson, who began the sand drawings as a therapeutic way to help their mental health. Their main aim is to raise awareness of mental health, whilst bringing a smile to people’s faces during lockdown, giving hope to others and inspiring a bit of creativity. Sandymental’s work captured the public’s attention in April with a large tribute to the NHS.

Ben says: “It’s nice to get out in the fresh air and speak to people about my art and the reasons for doing it. It helps when the sun shines, but sometimes it is nice to be on the beach alone in bad weather to clear your mind.”

LOVEmyBEACH officer Emily Parr commented “I was so impressed when I saw some of Sandymental’s designs online, that I knew it would be great if LOVEmyBEACH could collaborate on an anti-littering piece. When I spoke to Ben it was great to hear that he cared so much about the beach environment and was happy to create a bespoke piece for LOVEmyBEACH.”

“This piece of art was another way to keep the conversation going around the need to take your litter home and leave only footprints at the beach. It certainly captured people’s attention as pictures of the sand art were shared widely on social media before it had even been finished!”

Ben says, “It seemed appropriate to do a piece on litter given the vast numbers of people visiting the Fylde Coast and to help gently remind people that all it takes is a little effort form each person to help keep our beaches clean.”

If you have been inspired to create your own sand art encouraging people to take their litter home, please do share pictures online with LOVEmyBEACH.

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!