Ten reasons why you should take part in a beach clean

The Great British Beach Clean took place on Friday 20th September and Shepway Sports Trust decided to join in. With support from Giles, the Area Officer from Folkestone & Hythe District Council, we were armed with all of the equipment you could need: litter pickers, gloves, bags and a handful of advice on how to find the sorts of materials which are damaging to the environment and the local wildlife. We decided to tackle the wonderful landscape of The Warren. It’s a beautiful beach which sees a large footfall during the summer months, unfortunately resulting in a lot of litter.

     

Here’s what we learned from the experience with ten reasons why you should take part in a beach clean:

1 – If you’re lucky enough to live by the seaside, cherish it! Even though we all live nearby, we all spoke about how beautiful it was. Respect its beauty and make a positive impact on your local environment by keeping it clean.

2 – Plastic is extremely harmful to creatures and marine-animals. According to World Animal Protection, micro-plastics, abandoned fishing gear and other plastic pollution are among our biggest environmental threats.

3 – A beach clean is really great exercise. In an hour’s walk, you can clock up your pedometer by around 6000 steps. A walk of 1 hour and 40 minutes will reach your daily recommendation of 10,000 steps – with the added feel-good factor of doing something positive for the environment!

4 – Being outside is good for your mental wellbeing. The national mental health charity, Mind has said “spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems including anxiety and depression. Research into ecotherapy (a type of formal treatment which involves doing activities outside in nature) has shown it can help with mild to moderate depression”

5 – You can litter pick at your own pace, making it a brilliant activity for families with varying ages.

6 – You’ll be amazed at some of the things you find! We found a petrol can, a hubcap and a full tin of chicken soup!

7 – Litter picking is a great learning experience (especially for young ones) with lots of different types of materials to talk about… plastic, foam, rope, fabric – you name it, we found it!

8 – Encourage your friends, colleagues or sports team to get involved. Speaking to the local Area Officers, they are always grateful for additional support from large groups, as well as individuals. They’ll supply all of the equipment you’ll need and give you advice on where to go.

9 –  Appealing to everybody’s competitive side, you can even make it a competition. Who can find the most? Who has the heaviest bag? Who will end up with the most obscure item?

10 – It really changes your perspective of litter. Since The Great British Beach Clean, we have all noticed how much plastic is really around us. We’ve all committed to making more positive changes.

 

     

If you’d like to take part in the next beach clean or organise your own litter-picking event, please contact j.mann@shepwaysportstrust.org who will pass you all of the relevant details.

Thank you to Flourish Agency, Expertise Homecare Folkestone and Folkestone & Hythe District Council who supported today’s beach clean.