The Great British Beach clean Weekend

As I mentioned further down we had the annual MCS flagship event the great British beach clean weekend on the 18 to 21st of September.  There were other events held around Norfolk but I was only part of two so this is mainly about them,although all are just as important

I had one organised in Bacton Keswick beach on the 20th and another Beachwatch organiser Fiona organised one for Trimingham on the 19th,surveys were filled out for both and were very successful in showing people what is washed up on our shores!

We had the local Lib Dem and North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb join us  This was a great opportunity for him to see for himself first hand the types of litter we get along our coast. The amount of polystyrene was too much to count and there was a lot of balloon litter aswell,which gave us the opportunity to talk to him about the damage balloon and lantern release to marine and wildlife and the environment. How every beach clean presents balloon litter that people have released without thinking of the fact that balloon will burst and become part of the litter in our oceans,even the biodegradable ones do not really bio degrade. More on this in another blog. It was really good of him to come and support us and a bit of an eye opener to the amount ,particularly of polystyrene we pick up. Good to know we have his support and a great opportunity to get the local government involved. So a big thank you to him as well as the other volunteers that helped fill in surveys and pick up the litter. There was a huge tractor tyre that some of the volunteers managed to push to the rubbish pick up point,which was a great team effort!

The one at Bacton on the 20th was a little bit hindered due to the tide being against us,with 4 of us we still managed to get a few bags of litter from the promenade and dunes. One thing that did stand out was the amount of micro plastics along the tide line on the promenade,particularly the amount of nurdles and cotton bud sticks we found The nurdles there were too many to count. Nurdles are the base products of plastic and are a huge contributor to the micro plastic problem in out oceans . Smaller ones are also used in some cosmetic products too. This was a very clear indicator of just what our oceans and ocean life are up against!

All in all a successful weekend and hope the other cleans around Norfolk on that weekend were successful too and we got plenty of data to provide for the international coast watch survey!

Most importantly I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part ,very much appreciated and your help with the survey data will make a contribution towards the evidence we can use of the types and amount of litter on our coast . Pictures will be up in the gallery soon

THANK YOU :)

a few claims to fame

Over the Few years I have been doing beach cleans I have been lucky enough to have a few bits in local news papers and blogs including one of my own blogs put into the sea champions blog page too

thought I would post them on here for people to see

The first little piece was on one of my first beach cleans,my daughter joined me for this one and two of my friends. One of the local news papers called the crabline which is distributed in north norfolk published a small piece

crabline pic mum and daughter

 

I then got asked by Sara Marshall if she could add a quote and pic of some of my beach clean volunteers to a piece she was doing for the local secrets website,you can read it here on this link

local secrets article

 

The local news paper then added a few words about my beach cleans I did for the Great British Beach Clean last year (2014) in an article they were doing on The Marine conservations Great British Beach clean in Norfolk

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I was very pleased to receive a thank you letter from Norman lamb last year as well, it is nice to know that the beach cleans we do are noticed and appreciated by local government too!

norman lamb letter

Through the local heros scheme that Sainsburys employees can be a part of, I managed to get a pic and small piece in all the local newspapers this year too

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so these are all our claim to fames so far. All of these recognitions I could not have achieved with out the lovely people who give up there time to volunteer and help out! So these are for Everybody involved,and a little way of say a huge thank you for giving up your time to help out with the beach cleans I organise! I could not get half as much litter off the beaches that we have without you,so well done to all of us :)

The great british beach clean

Every year on the 3rd weekend in September the marine Conservation society beach watch program hold the great British beach clean event. This is the flagship event where as many beach cleans and surveys are filled in as possible around the uk. It is what you may like to call the “main” event although every single beach clean  and survey done is just as important. All data collected at all times of the year plays a very important part.

The events run from the Friday to the Monday and anyone can take part or organise one. All you have to do is visit the Marine conservations societies great British  beach clean page and search for any beaches holding an event near you! There will be a map of the uk where you can zoom in to find events near to you ,you can then sign up for the event and you will receive updates by email and you can also read the information about it too. If you find  a beach that is not holding an event you can see if that beach has an organiser by searching for the beach on the events list which should tell you. If there is no organiser you can always sign up to organise one yourself. You may wish to do it every year or maybe just a one off to see how you get on if you have never organised a beach clean up before. I have a blog a bit further down about becoming a beach watch organiser with helpful pointers on it too

The data collected from the surveys filled in on this weekend goes into an annual report and goes into the international coastal clean up. This data is then used as evidence to show what is being washed up and left on our beaches and can be very useful

It can be a very fun weekend with lots going on and a great excuse to get down the beach with friends ,family and like minded people,great team work and a real feel good feeling afterwards too.

There are a few happening in Norfolk this year too. They are all on the great British beach clean events page . I know there is one being held in Cley, Sheringham, and Great Yarmouth and possibly more. I will be holding one at Sea Palling beach on 18th September this year (2016) , at ramp next to reefs bar at 12 noon. Information for the others are on the events page

So if you are free that weekend and fancy some fresh air and enjoy the beach please do join me and other organisers and volunteers on a great British beach clean event and be part of something that could make a difference, it really does make you feel good :)

visit The Great British Beach Clean to find out more

 

what to do if you find animals and wildlife on the beach

When either walking playing or cleaning the beach there is a great opportunity to admire  the wildlife that visits and lives there. The best way to do this is to watch them from a distance and disturb them the least you can,just admire them doing their thing in their natural environment undisturbed

Sometimes these animals may be injured or in distress here is a few pointers on what to do.

In this area we are very lucky to have seal colonies there are grey seals which are bigger more robust seals that give birth on shore in the winter. The pups first fur is not waterproof untill they have their first moult at around 5-6 weeks old. We also have harbour seals known as common seals that are smaller and give birth in the summer the pups are waterproof straight away,but they are very vulnerable. Both are a joy to watch and enjoy,but it is vital that you do this at a safe distance. Bull seals (males) can get very large and do tend to fight during mating  season,this can be quite graphic and dangerous. Seals can and will bite if they are scared or disturbed too much. A bite from a seal will need hospital treatment and antibiotics for some time due to the bacteria they have in their mouths and around the teeth that can if untreated lead to very nasty infections. Please if you see a seal colony do respect them and give them space. Don`t get too close and do your best not to disturb them. If you have a dog please put them on a lead and explain to children the best way to enjoy them is to be as quiet as you can and watch them nicely without getting too close. This way you can enjoy them with little disturbance to them or any injuries to you and your loved ones.

During the grey seal pupping season between usually the end of Oct to the end of Jan they come onto shore at Horsey and Blakeney point. These beaches  are closed off during this season and wardened by volunteers. This is to cause the least disturbance to the seals and keep the public safe too. There are places you can view the seals and viewing points you can get spectacular views without disturbing them. Please do use these points rather then go onto the beach and respect the barriers and what the wardens explain to you. They are there for the good of the seals and the public. Seal wardens are always helpful,polite and as informative as they can be and want you to enjoy this wonderful experience safely for yourselves and the seals.  At Blakeney there are boat rides available throughout the year to go out onto the water and watch them.

Seal pups are only fed by their mother for around three weeks,this period is vital for them to be weaned successfully and they need as much of their mothers milk they can get to put on enough weight to be able to survive when they do get weaned. It is very important they are disturbed to the minimum throughout this time. Particularly the grey seal pups as the water and weather is bitterly cold during these winter months and without enough blubber they are unlikely to survive. The fluffy white coat is not waterproof so they will come more inshore as the tide comes in. Once they are weaned they will moult the white fur and get a new waterproof grey/mottled/black adult coat. This is when they will be venturing out into the water by themselves. The blubber they accumulate while nursing keeps them strong until they have learned how to hunt and feed themselves

If you see an injured pup please contact the nearest rescue center which is currently East winch in kings lynn numbers are available on the website. If you see a seal caught in fishing netting or twine or rope contact either East Winch or Friends of horsey seals who will advise you and try to help them. You can also contact the seal and shorewatch group too. Contact details are on their website . It is best not to try and release them unless you have experience and or know the best way to do it. If you do it can make the problem worse as the seal will try to get away from you and become distressed and the netting or twine could tighten cutting into the seal ,you may also get bitten

seal and shorewatch group

RSPCA East Winch Rescue Center

Friends Of Horsey Seals

If you see a pup that may looks stranded please leave it where it is. It may be learning how to feed or swim out in the ocean and also it`s likely the mother seal is close by and could get protective putting you in danger. Seals can get very big and heavy and it is surprising how quickly they can move . If you are concerned please contact the local rescue center and report it. Its always best to let nature do what it has to do if possible. Seals will only be helped if it is absolutely necessary such as severely injured or ill

Some of the other wildlife you may come across are sea birds,if you find one entangled in netting or twine that is still alive then get in touch with the local RSPB who will advise you what to do. If you try to release it yourself it may panic even more and the twine could tighten. We have a variety of gulls,comerants,terns,turnstones and waders in North norfolk. Cley ,Blakeney and holkham have very picturesque nature reserves and bird populations including geese,herons,little egrets,marsh harriers and many more

RSPB

You may come across jelly fish along the shoreline at certain times of year. Please don`t panic, there are very few dangerous  ones in the north sea . The ones you are likely to see in Norfolk are what are known as sea gooseberries. These are small oval jellyfish with grooves along there body,they do not sting and are totally harmless. It is best to just leave them until the tide comes in to collect them they can sometimes be seen along the shore line and look like tiny jewels in the sand. If you see any other jellyfish that are bigger,flatter,coloured ect, you can report them to the marine conservation societies jellyfish list which they are keen for people to do,so they can keep track of jellyfish blooms around the UK coast. Go too www.mcsuk.org to find out more, jelly fish are not only beautiful,but a vital food source for seals,turtles and many others. We have been known to have whales pass through the north sea and turtles too!

Marine Conservation Society

Some times in late autumn early winter  spotted dogfish get washed up along places like bacton,walcott and happisburgh. They look like they are dead ,but they are actually alive but have shut down majority of their resources until the tide comes in to get them. They can survive out of water for quite some time, so if you see one please leave it until the tide comes in and please don`t let your dogs go near them!

The best way to see what is in our ocean is to look in the rock pools and along the rocks, You can find crabs,shrimps,starfish,anenomies,limpets,clams,barnacles,sand worms and so may other things. Rock pools are teeming with life. A great place for rockpooling is West Runton ,Blakeney point ,Cromer and Sea palling is great for starfish. Please if you do this ,try not to disturb them, it is best to just watch them ,but if you do catch a crab or starfish please be very gentle and always return them to the sea

So there are a few things about the abundant wildlife we have along our shores and the main reason we do the beach cleans. All the litter floating in our oceans has a terrible effect on the creatures that inhabit our seas and beaches. It is at critical point and every bit of litter we pick up is not going back into the sea! This will help our seas to hopefully recover and give future generations a chance to experience the beautiful biodiversity of our beaches and oceans that we are lucky to have.

beach clean volunteers

If you read my previous post you may feel beach watch organiser may not be for you. In that case consider becoming a beach watch volunteer instead. All you need to bring is yourself and suitable clothing/footwear as most organisers do have equipment. Of course if you wish to bring any of your own that is always helpfull. It is worth checking the weather to see if you need suncream/raingear ect You can visit the marine conservation societies beach watch events site

Beachwatch Events Page

This has a list of all the registered beach watch events around the country. You can sign up and get regular email updates which will inform you of any changes . Beach cleans tend to go ahead rain or shine I know mine defiantly do. The only thing that would stop mine is high tide! You can help fill in surveys if you wish and stay as long as you like (even half an hour is helpful) You can visit the beach page where the clean is being held which will have information,risk assessments and survey results on it. You can find out more on this link where you can sign up, find beaches and read the volunteer guide

Beachwatch Volunteer page

All volunteers are extremely appreciated and very welcome. It can be a very pleasant way to spend the day. Now you may think “hmm picking up rubbish…pleasant? no don`t think so” and ok that bit is not exactly pleasant,but it is a great excuse to spend the day enjoying our beautiful beaches. Get some refreshing sea air and maybe even treat yourself to an ice cream or cuppa or even a pint afterwards. Make it a family day out. It`s important to get children involved and get them into the habit of picking up litter. If it`s a nice day you can see lots of wildlife such as sea birds,seals,maybe some crustaceans,starfish or crabs,maybe if your really lucky the odd whale or dolphin (depending where you are) It is a very relaxing way to wind down with the sound of the waves . It is also a great way to meet like minded people and maybe even build up friendships. It is a fun day out and very rewarding knowing you are doing something worthwhile not only for the marine environment ,but also for the community. It may not seem alot ,but it all adds up and if everyone got involved it would make a huge difference. I do my beach cleans come rain or shine and sometimes I don`t get any volunteers, I still do them and managed to get 30 Kg of rubbish with just me! If 10 people got that amount it would be 300 kg of rubbish, so it soon adds up and its a great feeling afterwards too. Organisers are always very grateful of any help you can give. It is a very positive thing to do.
If you can`t make an event, why not do your own little clean up next time your own the beach. Just take a bag with you and do a two minute beach clean (recently advertised by autumnwatch) it all helps

For all our volunteers old or new On behalf of myself and the marine conservation society a huge THANK YOU for giving up your time to help us

beach clean organisers

If your wondering what being a beachwatch organiser involves ,it can be slightly daunting and alot to take in at first,but I can tell you this from my own experience it is worth it. I for one would be very happy for some more Beach watch organisers in Norfolk as so far my self and two other people in sheringham seem to e the only ones. If there are any more in norfolk please do get in touch it would be great for us all to work together :)

Before you read on please don`t let the amount of stuff put you off, you can do it in your own way and what is best for you and suits your time available and what you are willing and able to do,this is just some usefull things to remember! Beach clean organisers are in need in the norfolk area as there are planty of beaches to cover . I am willing to help,support and do what i can to make anyone who may wish to give it a go feel confindent ,involved and at ease about it. If I can do it anyone can as I can be quite scatty at times. The main thing is to be diplomatic, and not to worry,the coast guard.local councils and lifeguards are very supportive and the Marine conservation society will always help and support where its needed.  So please if anyone is interested in this very rewarding volunteering please get intouch with me or the marine conservation society. I am more then willing to answer any queries or worries you may have about it,main thing is to be positive about it

Beachwatch organizing

If you ever wondered how you can help out with the litter crisis our marine environment is facing, then here are a few suggestions
The marine conservation society do a program called beach watch .Anyone can sign up to be a volunteer or organise beach cleans here are a few pointers based on my experience as a beach watch organiser as there are a few things to keep in mind:
I have been a beach watch organiser for around three years now. I started off signing up for the beach i grew up near Bacton in Norfolk. I went onto the marine conservation societies beach watch site signed up and filled in the information on the beach watch page. When you go onto the beach watch page there is a link on how to become a beach watch organiser. In that link is all the information you need. There is an organisers guide which is handy to read through, It shows you what is involved and how you can do it.just visit
Beachwatch Organisers page
Deciding how often you can organise 
Firstly you have a beach watch basics. This tells you what is expected. You have two options. You can just do beach cleans for the beach watch big weekend which is once a year on the third weekend in September. This is advertised and promoted and what you may like to call the “main” clean up (although every one is important),Or you can sign up for beach watch all year round, which is 4 beach cleans per year required preferable once every season, you can organise as many as you feel you have time for( I try and do one once a month). The more you can do the better. It basically depends on what time you can spare and how many you feel you can do. Even one a year helps.
Choosing your beach
Secondly you should choose your beach. Is it pebbly or sandy?, are there many risk factors?, is there access to parking and are there many exits from the beach?. Are there any facilities near by?, Is it the right beach for you to take the public onto?, is this beach suitable for you? Once you have decided which beach would be best for you it is always best to ask permission from the owner!You usually do this with a quick phone call/email or sometimes a letter may be needed (local councils just a quick phone call will do )  Majority of the beaches are owned by local authorities such as district councils.Some are privately owned, If your unsure get in touch with you local district council who will be able to advise. You need to explain what beach watch is, get the official name for the beach, tell them approximately how often you will carry out beach cleans and who to contact about rubbish pick up
Surveys and weighing litter rubbish collections
The marine conservation society relies on litter surveys to keep track of the sort of litter and  amounts to act as important evidence to influence industries to tackle litter problems . You can print off surveys fill in the forms, from the organisers resources on your beach page, its 100 meters of the beach you are cleaning. It is usefull to know the weight of the rubbish collected so weigh each bag as best you can with some hand scales and count bags too.
Don`t forget to let the refuse collectors know where to collect the rubbish from and when/what time . Usually if you let the local council know they will arrange it for you,but it is best to check. It is a good idea to let them know it is beach clean rubbish and if you have separated recycling (sometimes this is not possible depending on what the local refuse recycle, so that is worth checking too)
Completing the registration
This bit is fairly self explanatory. You fill in the information on the form which is basically your personal details, and how often you can organise, Once you are approved you will get an email.letter confirming this and information. You may need to fill in information on your beach too such as,where abouts the beach is located, how long/wide the beach is,any sewage outlets,who the owner is and there address,how often it is cleaned by local authorities ect. It is all on the site. If your not sure on anything just leave it blank,there is also an introductory pack and an introductory video you can watch just visit
Beachwatch organisers page
Equipment
As an organiser it is best to make sure you have litter picking equipment for your volunteers. Often you can borrow from your local council,but if you are doing them very regularly you may wish to invest in some of your own, it`s what ever works best for you.It can be hard to judge exactly how many volunteers will turn up so you may have to estimate how many of each item you will need depending on where you are and how many people you think may turn up. I usually have around 10/15 you may need more! It is also handy to take a tape measure, weighing equipment (such as luggage hand scales) and a camera to take any pictures of oil spillages,dead animals,fly tipping ect that may be needed. Also a photo of your volunteers is nice, but do ask if they would mind before taking the pictures. here is a list of things you may need:
Litter pickers
High vis vests (you can buy these in bulk or local authorities can provide them,they are particularly use full to see other volunteers,especially in winter cleans when it can be quite dull, important for minors too)
Gloves (gardening gloves are best, but the disposable are cheaper and come in packs of a hundred or more)
Bags (i would recommend asking local councils for these,you may wish to separate recycling too)
Bag Hoops (these are optional as are quite expensive,but some local councils will provide them)
First aid kit/hand gel
Permission forms (for any minors)
Survey forms and pens (depending on how many volunteers you get you may want to take a few of these for people to fill in)
A bag /rucksack (to keep paperwork ect in)
Suitable clothing (for you)
Tape measure
Hand scales
Camera
a drink
Safety
Bare in mind you are dealing with the public and taking volunteers onto the beach Its best to fill in a risk assessment on your beach page. I do mine by taking a walk down the beach and checking for  things like, how many exits?, does the tide come right in at high tide? are there many rocks/sea defences if so are they slippery? are ramps very slippery? is there much shelter from the sun? are there any sewage outlets? Are the promenades flat or have many hazards basically anything you feel may need to be added to the assessment. The risk assessment will be on the beach page.
It is best to let the coastguard know just incase. They may wish to know approximate numbers as well I always say the most I expect to come.
Any containers with liquid or substances in should be left incase they are hazardous and reported either to local authorities or Marine conservation society.
Anything buried or stuck should be left if it can`t be dislodged as it could cause a strain.
If children wish to join they should be with an adult and fill in a permission form which can be downloaded from the organisers resources link along with posters and surveys ect.
Remember to always protect yourself and cover any red tape. Should any accidents occur be sure to let the correct people know and the marine conservation society too that way you are covered
Prep talks
If you have quite a few people it is advisable to give a small prep talk before you start. This is just to let people know where exits are,where to meet when finished,where first aid is,where toilets are. You may like to let people know a contact number for you and/or the local coast guard. It is useful to explain the risks advising things like not touching dead animals,or to leave containers with liquid that is not sea water,not to lift heavy things ect. It is a good idea to do a quick head count aswell and another when finished
Advertising
A very important part of beach cleaning is getting volunteers, This means letting people know, contact local newsletter and papers , ask local radio, see if local school or scout groups may want to get involved, put up posters, advertise on social media. Do what you can to let people know, word of mouth can go a long way. You can download posters from the organiser resources. Let people know the link to the marine conservation societies beach watch events page so they can sign up and get regular email updates, Get family and friends involved. It may be a good idea to remind people about suitable clothing/footware,suncream hats, ect ,it`s surprising what people forget sometimes.Finally remind your volunteers to wash their hands its easy to forget to do this and don`t forget to wash yours too especially if eating afterwards. (hand gel is very handy for this) most importantly collect all surveys and thank all your volunteers
If you have done a survey clean up when you get home you will need to send off the survey results to the Marine conservation society ,you can do this on the add survey part on your beach pageNow I know you may be thinking that is a heck of alot of work and stuff to do. It may seem a bit daunting,but if you can get support then do so and there are always people who can advise (including me) It really is worth it in the end and you don`t have to do it on your own,doing it as a group is much easier. I do know it is worth it and very much appreciated. You get a great sense of pride and it is very rewarding knowing you are doing something to help. it might only be a small amount in a huge problem area but little things add up to bigger things
So why not join me and lets get north norfolk beaches cleaned up for everyone and everything 😀
beachwatch

Beach clean surveys

If you ever wondered why we do surveys and how we do them here is some information.

The main reason we do beach clean surveys is to gather evidence . By surveying 100 square meters of the beach we are cleaning the results can be used as evidence of the amount and types of litter that is being found on are beaches. This evidence can be used to inform industries of what is being washed up and left on our beaches and encouraging them to take some responsibility for it. The aim is to provide proof of the litter and work with the industries to try and find a feasible solution and encourage them to be more actively involved . If we find any litter with company names,logos and contact details these companies can also be contacted to make them aware that there logos /names are being found in the litter,which could work as an incentive to get more involved in finding a solution aswell. Its always best to try and work together rather then against

So the surveys are important,but what is involved?

The main survey is done during the big beach watch weekend which is held on the third weekend of September each year. These survey are important data that gets added to the international coastal clean up report. It is the Marine conservations flagship event which has an annual report of the amount and types of litter on the beach.This is advertized and encourage as many volunteers to get involved as we can. Some organisers (including myself) do the all year round surveys,these are done four times a year for each beach (once a season) it really is a huge help if the volunteers can fill in a survey , I am always happy to help explain how to do them and provide pens ect and I am very grateful for any help with the surveys too as they can be a bit time consuming,but they are very important! The data on the surveys for all the beach cleans surveyed is important and each survey uploaded is logged

The organiser will usually mark out or explain where abouts the survey area is and every piece of litter no matter how small is marked on the survey. Cigarette butts, cotton bud, small pieces of rubber or polystyrene are all included, We are particularly interested in plastic nurdles too also known as mermaids tears. These are tiny plastic balls that are the base product of how plastics are made and can cause a lot of harm to wildlife as they are mistaken for food and digested. The puffin is one particular sea bird affected badly by these as well as many more.

The surveys are marked in a tally system and it is the easiest way to do it ,so its four small vertical marks then a diagonal line through them which is counted as five,that way the litter can be counted easily and as accurately as possible, once you have finished the survey please hand it back to the organiser.

Its best to keep the bags of litter in the survey area together so they can be weighed to give an accurate weight for the survey, and all the bags will be weighed at the end. I always weigh all the bags collected as its a good idea to know how many kg of rubbish from the whole clean too

After the beach clean the organiser will collect the surveys and once home will enter the results into the summary section of the survey part on the beach page. This includes all the litter surveyed,how many meters were surveyed. wind speed, tide height, how many meters cleaned not included in survey,how many bags and the weight in kg. Any dead or injured animals ,toxic substances,tar or oil in the sand and plastic nurdles. This is then sent to the Marine conservation society Beach watch team for them to process and use as evidence

It may seem a little confusing at first,but I am always happy to go through it all with anyone and answer any questions or concerns people have, There are litter identifications forms and pages to show where litter may come from  that can be provided.The main thing is to have fun while your doing it too. bureaucracy can be a little daunting ,but it can also be vital when trying to prove what is happening. By helping with the surveys you are helping with the wider scale issues and that in itself is a huge help and greatly appreciated

Importantly although it is encouraged there is absolutely no pressure to do a survey. If you do not want to or would rather just do the litter picking that is no problem at all, All my beach cleans are very easy going,its something I want people to enjoy.

So the most important thing to say is thank you :)

What happens on a beach clean

If you ever wondered what is involved in a beach clean then here is a quick insight:

Basically its a litter pick. equipment is provided and the organiser should know where you can park,where public conveniences are and where to get refreshments. The organiser should have a first aid kit available and the coastguard or local coast watch will have been informed

Marine conservation society beach watch beach cleans will have a risk assessment and will be registered with the marine conservation society so will be covered, the organiser will usually do a prep talk and go through any dangers and do`s and don`ts, hand out surveys if they are doing a surveyed beach clean at the starting point and usually suggest a time to meet back at that point

Surveys are usually done four times a year or yearly on the great British beach clean weekend in the third week of September,litter guides are available from the organiser and they will also be able to help with filling surveys if unsure. 100 square meters are surveyed

high vis vests or tabbards, gloves, litter pickers and bags should be available aswell as consent forms for any minors and litter guides and a sharps box for glass or needles

Sometimes needles are found and if you are not comfortable picking them up just inform the organisers children should not pick up glass or needles. Never pick up needles without wearing gloves! Any chemical tubs with substance in them should be left and the organiser will inform the authorities as with any asbestos,if your not sure then leave it and inform the organiser. Same applies with any very heavy objects,we don`t want anyone straining themselves

Any injured or dead animals should not be touched again just inform the organiser and they will take the correct procedures

They usually last around 2-3 hours and do depend on the tide. Volunteers can stay as long or little as they wish,its entirley voluntary and any help given is appreciated even if its half an hour!

at the end of the bleach clean bags are collected up counted and and weighed,then left at the rubbish pick up point

All you need to bring is yourselves,appropriate clothing and footwear,walking boots or wellies are best,sun cream or raincoat and anything else you may require ie medication,drinks ect.

don`t let the weather put you off ,my beach cleans go ahead rain or shine! The only time they are cancelled is if the tide is in,even in the cold  it`s surprising how quickly you warm up. Although they can be strenuous at times they are a fun and rewarding way to spend time at the beach and meet fellow like minded people

why I started doing beach cleans

I have lived in Bacton since i was two. Its a very quiet little village right next to the beach and I spent my childhood on Bacton and Walcott (the next village on) beach. Many a hot summers day spent lazing on the warm sand,swimming in the sea and exploring the creatures in the rock pools,doing there thing . Even in winter ,wrapped up warm walking along the coast watching the waves and the fresh air,gives off an energy that makes you feel alive! Seeing the little common jelly fish scattered along the shore looking like little jewels in late summer early autumn and looking up to a huge wide sky that Norfolk is gifted with. I have always considered myself lucky to have grown up next to the beach. The ocean and ocean life has always and still does fascinate me especially the deep ocean

As the years have gone by I started to notice more and more the amount of litter accumulating as I walked along the beach and started to get more and more annoyed at it. We are the only species that makes so much rubbish and just leaves it to fester! I started picking bits up as I walked along. Then one day I read an article on the amount of plastic polluting our oceans and the damage plastic bags are doing to marine life . As I investigated further I found the Marine conservation society website and their beachwatch program and wondered why more wasn`t being done in this area. After some consideration I decided to become a beachwatch organiser for Bacton and walcott beach. After reading up on what is required and how to do it and watching a quick video on the MCS site I organised my first beach clean in Nov 2012. There was only four of us and I borrowed some equipment from the local council and we got a few bags. It was a great feeling afterwards . After that I organised one for walcott and eventually became oraginser for Sea – palling ,ostend in Walcott and Bacton near the gas site too.I recently became organiser for mundesley as well.

I also became a Sea champion volunteer for the MCS and started a degree in Environmental science with the open university.so the marine environment is my pathway in life hopefully.