Matilda Bark and Sally King from the Dorset and East Devon Coast Marine Litter Group joined five others at Ringstead Beach on a blustery Sunday for the Marine Conservation Society’s autumn beach clean along the Jurassic Coast.
We collected around 15 bags of litter and picked up everything from a carton of Spanish orange juice to a pair of underpants! Other unusual litter included a towel, a tupperware full of clams and a tin of sardines. We also picked up batteries, a syringe (no needle), a very long fishing line and plenty of plastic bottles, cans and sweet wrappers. There were a few bags of dog poo and also a barbecue.
We came away pleased to have cleaned the beach, but amazed and disappointed that people could so readily leave their litter behind in the first place.
The monitoring results of the beach cleans along the whole of the Dorset and East Devon Coast will soon be available and at the same time, we will launch the Litter Free Coast and Sea campaign. This will aim to reduce marine and beach litter at source by through encouraging a long term cultural shift in public behaviour and understanding of the simple ways to help eliminate litter. Raising awareness in this way should help towards reducing marine litter at source which is the key issue. The campaign will focus on a number of targets including:
- Creating a campaign brand and set of promotional campaign resources
- Using social, local and national media to promote the message and engage people in the process
- Creating a fund to enable 8 local school, community and youth groups to design and deliver projects
- Collating educational materials for schools to use to learn about the impacts of marine and beach litter and promoting this along the Jurassic Coast through the Big Jurassic Classroom project
We are very grateful to the Dorset AONB Sustainable Development Fund, the Crown Estate and the Jurassic Coast Trust for supporting this really important piece of work.
Read more about Marine Litter
Sally King, World Heritage Site Visitor Manager.