Cold Water Beach Clean Series – Cleaning UK beaches as winter waves unfurl

This autumn saw the launch of our Cold Water Beach Clean Series, with support from The Crown Estate and leading UK cold-water surf brand Finisterre. During the coldest months, marine litter accumulates in huge quantities on our coastline, threatening the safety and enjoyment of beaches by surfers, walkers and sports enthusiasts. The Cold Water Beach Clean Series tackled this modern day scourge of the sea head on heedless of rain, wind, sleet or shine.

We called for community volunteers to join the SAS beach clean team at 20 treasured Cold Water surf beaches nationwide and that call was well and truly answered with 618 volunteers joining us to sweep almost 2.5 TONNES of marine litter this Autumn.

Setting out in September, we’ve hauled whole fishing nets from Hells Mouth in North Wales, encountered heaps of deposited plastics on Grange Chine beach on the Isle of Wight and joined forces with 70 local primary school students at Castlerock in Northern Ireland. In the far north of Scotland we swept hundreds of cans and plastic bottles from the beach in the shadow of Thurso castle, items that, if left, would outlast the castle itself and in the North East of England at Whitburn, local MPs Julie Elliot and Emma Lewell-Buck joined us as we uncovered shocking amounts of sewage related debris.

The 2013 Cold Water Beach Clean Series came to a close in the South West of England on what was one of the stormiest weekends of the winter so far. Any fears of a washout final weekend blew away with the wind with over 115 hardy volunteers joining us at iconic Kimmeridge Bay in 50 mph+ winds to remove a shocking number of plastic bottles, to get soaked to the skin in Sidmouth and at Woolacombe Bay, where the high tide line was speckled as far as the eye could see with mermaids tears.

Our beaches require year round protection from the scourge of marine litter both for the health of our oceans and the safety and enjoyment of recreational water users and beach lovers. We’d like to say a huge “THANK YOU” to every single volunteer who joined us across the UK this autumn!