The SAS Big Spring Beach Clean weekend on March 24th & 25th was greeted with some of the warmest and brightest spring weather on record in the UK. There was also ample opportunity for surfing as the coastline soaked up some great swell. The weekend saw the biggest ever SAS Big Spring Beach Clean at locations from Cornwall to Scotland.

SAS Regional Reps and lead volunteers were joined by hundreds of eager volunteers, all doing their bit to keep UK beaches clean and raise public awareness about marine litter. SAS cleans took place throughout Cornwall, Devon, the South Coast, the East Coast, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The SAS Big Spring Beach Clean further demonstrated the public appetite to get involved with SAS’s grassroots community activities helping protect beaches for everyone to use safely and sustainably. It also reinforces just how much the UK’s coastal communities care. We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all the hardworking SAS Regional Reps, lead volunteers and the community volunteers who made a sunny weekend even brighter. The feedback has been really positive, with not only a huge amount of marine litter removed from our beaches but also a positive message sent out to help encourage people to take action to protect their favourite stretches of coastline.

At the time of writing, SAS can confirm that the beach cleans in total had the participation of almost 1,000 volunteers, who helped to remove over 3,000kgs of marine litter from the UK’s coastline in just two days. Each clean lasted around two hours, so we are delighted to have contributed over 2000 volunteer hours to beaches through this initiative.

Spring time sadly reveals the true severity of the marine litter issue. After a long winter of storms, before local council beach cleaning operations begin for the summer season, the accumulation of litter can often seem at its worst. Typical examples of marine litter include rubbish from beach users, sewage-related debris, waste from commercial shipping, nets and fish boxes from fishing vessels and medical waste.

SAS Director Hugo Tagholm says: “I would like to thank all the volunteers who took part in the SAS Big Spring Beach Clean. It’s an amazing result to have removed almost three tonnes of marine litter from UK beaches and everyone should be very proud. Our growing team of community volunteers is really helping combat the tide of trash and encourage ways of reducing litter from even ending up in our precious oceans.”

Here aresome links to some great reports from specific cleans from our passionate volunteers & supporters:

Shoreham, Brighton: http://www.bemmerdesigns.co.uk/sas-beach-clean-2012/

Saltburn, Yorkshire: http://vimeo.com/39114204

Great Western, Newquay: http://reneeansell.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/great-western-beach-is-lookin-fine.html

We’d like to say thank you to Screwfix for supplying the protective gloves for the SAS Big Spring Beach Clean volunteers – www.screwfix.com