Community Beach Cleans and Volunteering


A Marine Litter campaign

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Community Beach Cleans and Volunteering

The campaign

We are calling for individuals, educational institutions, community groups and local businesses to support and join us in protecting our precious coastlines from plastic pollution.

Our vision is to continue the incredible growth and impact of our grassroots volunteer movement in 2017. We will engage, empower and equip a huge network of 25,000 people annually through; 1000 beach cleans, multiple ‘beyond the beach clean‘ campaign actions, 700 education talks, 100’s of outside events and countless other SAS initiatives. This volunteer army not only deliver real and notifiable differences to the health of their own coastal communities but also lend huge credibility and power to our work to bring real change at government and industry level.

By taking action TODAY you can help us achieve these ambitious aims, why not;

Each year, through projects such as our Big Spring Beach Clean, Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project and Autumn Beach Clean, along with Volunteer- and Regional Rep-led beach cleans, SAS mobilises many thousands of volunteers,  removing tonnes of harmful plastic pollution. In 2016 alone over 19,400 people joined us at nearly 950 SAS beach cleans removing in excess of 64 TONNES of marine litter – the equivalent of 16,000 bin bags or two and a half 25m swimming pools!

We’re proud of this but with your help we can, and must, do much more. Working with organisations such as Ecover and Parley for the Oceans, and through our All Party Parliamentary Group we work far ‘beyond the beach clean’.

2016 also saw the launch of our Beach Clean Boxes – the next step in marine disaster relief for the UK’s beaches. 125 specially designed beach conservation kits, including beach clean tools such as; buckets, bin bags, gloves, litter picker and shovels as well as vital scientific monitoring and education materials, were deployed to our team of highly trained and passionate Regional Reps from the Channel Islands to the Isle of Skye in Scotland.


(c) Sarah Clarke

Contact our Beach Clean Coordinator Jack at [email protected]or call 01872 553001 for more information

We are so incredibly proud of our Lead Volunteers! From the Channel Islands to the Isle of Harris and Great Yarmouth to Culmore Point in Northern Ireland these tireless individuals set a truly inspiring example for us all. Let’s recognize this effort and join them in protecting our beautiful beaches.

Dom Ferris, Senior Projects Manager

Get involved

To organise your own SAS Beach Clean simply follow the step by step guide below. (Note: In order for your event to be covered by SAS’s Public Liability Insurance, volunteer beach clean organisers must complete steps 1-6)

  • 1. Download the SAS Volunteer Beach Clean Organiser Pre-Event Checklist and use it to monitor your progress whilst organising the beach clean. Download document
  • 2. Download the SAS Beach Manager Notification letter, fill in the details of your beach clean and email to the enquiries email address of your local borough council or the beach owners at private beaches (copy and paste "FAO Beach Management Team – Volunteer Beach Clean" into the subject field of the email). Download document
  • 3. Download, read and understand the SAS Mandatory Beach Clean/Event Safety Guidelines. Use to complete your Risk Assessment. Download document
  • 4. Download, print off and complete the SAS Beach Clean Risk Assessment Template for your individual beach. Have a copy of this completed document at your beach clean event. Download document
  • 5. Download and print off the SAS Public Liability Insurance Document. Have a copy of this at your beach clean event. Download document
  • 6. Download and print off a number of the SAS Beach Clean Volunteer Sign-in Sheets to use at your event, then post them back to SAS HQ. Download document
  • 7. Download the SAS Beach Clean Marine Litter Factsheet and use it to create your own marine litter talk. Download document
  • We also ask that you familiarise yourself with the documents below: - SAS Child Protection Policies - SAS Photographs and Images of Children Guidelines (Child Protection in Sport Unit) - SAS First Aid Kit Contents Guidelines Download document

Campaign timeline

Key campaign dates


Biggest year ever!

2016 was the biggest year for beach cleans and community mobilisation in SAS’s history. A further increase of the Regional Reps Programme and the deployment of Beach Clean Boxes saw SAS represented in 125 key communities from the Channel Islands to the Isle of Skye. This growth in community awareness led to 946 beach cleans being run with the help of 19,491 volunteers and the removal of 64 tonnes of marine litter.



In a year that saw SAS host the prestigious Global Wave Conference, the upwards trajectory carried on and all previous records were broken. Led by a team of now 75 Regional Reps and cemented by SAS hosting the Ocean Plastics Awareness Day with Prince Charles, over 12,000 beach clean volunteers helped remove over 47 Tonnes of plastic pollution from 634 beaches.


More targets exceeded!

Following on from a record-breaking 2013, 2014 saw SAS up the ante once more. By the close of the year, SAS had run 335 beach cleans, mobilised over 9,700 beach clean volunteers and removed just under 60 tonnes of marine litter from beaches across the UK. This end result was aided in no small part by the increase of SAS Regional Reps to 50, expanding into more areas of the UK. It was also set against a backdrop that involved the release of the Marine Litter Report and the formation of the Protect Our Waves All-Party Parliamentary Group.


Beach clean record!

SAS organised the biggest ever UK beach clean, setting an unofficial UK record of 314 beach clean volunteers. This led to a total of 117 beach cleans organised in 2013, the mobilisation of 5,500 inspired individuals and the removal of nearly 15 tonnes of marine litter.


A big increase!

In 2012, SAS beach cleans began to take off. The Regional Reps Programme was almost doubled from 2011, providing 32 community leaders. This increase was also mirrored in the beach cleans with 84 cleans taking place with the help of 3,250 volunteers.


Breaking Even

In 2011, the number of Reps was exactly the same as the number of beach cleans organised – 18 a piece! The number of beach clean volunteers, however was significantly more than this with 732 people being mobilised.


The beginning

In 2010, set against a backdrop of SAS publishing their Waves Are Resources or WAR report, 6 beach cleans took place with the help of 200 beach clean volunteers.