After winning silver Nick Dempsey, our local windsurf hero has shown his support for a local campaign to help keep the Dorset coast and inshore waters litter free by stepping on a windsurf made out of marine and beach litter.
The sculpture is on display at the newly reopened Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre, Portland Beach Road, was created by visitors to Weymouth during the 2012 Olympic sailing events. Bottle tops, plastic bags, fishing rope, bottles and cans have all being woven into the huge sculpture with the help of local artist Claire Nuttell. The sculpture has been created thanks to the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership which is promoting Dorset’s beautiful coastline, its fascinating geology and the diverse marine life.
Matilda Bark from the Dorset Coast Forum and who is part of the Natural Weymouth & Portland Partnership is leading the work on marine litter explained that “Dorset has some
of the best beaches in the country and we are keen to keep the beaches litter free during the sailing events. The sculpture has been created to promote the local “Litter Free Coast & Sea” campaign and to grab visitor’s attention so we can ask them to help look after
our coast while they are enjoying the Games”.
Nick Dempsey explained that he has been on beach cleans before and always feel really good once he has done it. “It is amazing how quickly the bags fill up with the litter. I think that everyone has done a great job [creating the sculpture] and it’s (Litter Free Coast and
Sea) a fantastic campaign.”
Over the next three years the Dorset Coast Forum and Keep Britain Tidy will be leading a project called “Dorset BeachCare” which aims to reduce the amount of marine and beach litter along the Dorset through behavioural change campaigns and by raising awareness of the impacts litter can have locally and internationally.
Litter is a big problem as it not only looks awful on our beaches but can also cost councils a lot of money to clear it up. It can also be a safety issue for beach and coastal recreational users as well as it can harm marine creatures, damage fishing gear and recreational boating equipment. The local ‘Litter Free Coast & Sea’ campaign promotes practical action to reduce the amount of publicly sourced litter along the Dorset coast. Matilda also said ‘there are free car stickers to give away to the public to enable them to show their support to this growing campaign. It is important that we all take responsibility and do our bit to reduce this ongoing problem”.
Much of the litter used to create the sculpture was collected by Dorset school children on various Dorset beaches during the last week of term.
Find out more about the impacts of marine and beach litter and other ways you can support the campaign at: www.litterfreecoastandsea.co.uk/dorset/
The Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership is made up of Dorset Coast Forum, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site Partnership, Natural England, RSPB, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Wild About Weymouth and Portland and Dorset Countryside. The Partnership aims to encourage the public to discover, enjoy and help conserve the local natural environment.