From Beach Clean to Beach Cleaned!

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Why, I ask myself, do I find myself standing on a beach, on a cold, wet and windy Saturday morning in the middle of December.  Litter picker in one hand, rubbish sack in the other.  Surely a nice warm cup of tea, watching the TV from the comfort of my sofa, relaxing after a busy week would be the more preferable option?

There are probably a number of answers to this question but I can think of 32 very specific reasons:

Disposable camera, fishing floats, plastic tops, tin can, concrete foot, rope, straws, wipes, wood, cardboard, netting, flossers, aluminium containers, multipack plastic, fishing line, white wax foam, syringe, plastic toy, dummy, condom, tennis ball, trainer, large plastic pipe, rubber glove, disposable lighter, dog poo, part of a plastic tray, plastic pen, plastic bottles, toothbrush, bag handle, paint brush.

All of these 32 items (along with a whole heap more stuff), were collected by a hardy team of volunteers during a beach clean I attended in December with the Bexhill Environmental Group.

I’m not even sure what some of these items are, (white wax foam anyone?), or where they came from (anybody missing a concrete foot?).  However, what is for sure is that these are items that we regularly find scatted on our beaches.

And with them, the worrying scenario of one day hearing the cry of joy from a group of kids, proudly standing over their freshly constructed sandcastle, complete with plastic windows, ramparts made from tin cans, lighters where the cannons will defend against the incoming tide and a condom, high atop the syringe made mast, fluttering in the breeze like a royal flag.

And this is just one small stretch of beach in Bexhill, scoured on one Saturday morning.

Isn’t it time we gave a bit more thought to our clean seas.  Please.

Spring into Action!

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We don’t want to jinx it, but it feels like spring is finally here. The sun is shining, the daffodils are out and the trees growing their fresh leaves, ready for another (hopefully) glorious summer. Spring is known as a time for cleaning up, the ‘spring clean’ has always been a regular feature in my house in March. So as well as cleaning inside, why not get to the seaside and spring clean the beach? We’re attending the Bexhill Environment Group’s beach clean on 22nd March (all details can be found on our Facebook page), so feel free to come and join us to do your bit for the beach! If you can’t make it, feel free to do your bit in your own time, just picking up a few bits of litter can really help!

There has never been a better time to start helping, so #SpringIntoAction for Clean Seas Please this March!

Our Day at Priory Meadow

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It was lovely to be at priory meadow on a sunny day for our#‎loveyourbeach‬ campaign! It was interesting to hear people’s opinions on what they loved about their beach; we had some interesting stories from the residents of Bexhill and Hastings about how they have spent all of their lives here, and that they, their children and grandchildren all learnt how to swim in the sea.

Many people found that they loved the calmness and tranquillity that the beach offered. On morning walks with their dogs and walks with their families. The kids who came to see us told us that they loved the parks by the beach and skipping stones in the sea (not to mention the love heart sweets and stickers we had to give away!)

Love Your Beach!

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With it being Valentines Day today, we felt it would be a brilliant time to spread the love, not just with that special someone, but with something that we all have many fond memories of; the beach. The seaside is where many of us spent our childhoods, playing in the sand, eating ice cream and making sandcastles. But, our bad habits may have a lasting effect on our beaches. These bad habits include flushing baby wipes and nappies down the toilet, as well as putting fats and oils down our sinks!

To raise awareness of this issue we will be uploading pictures of our local beaches onto our Facebooks and Twitters over the weekend. These pictures can feature anything from a painting or picture of relevance to the Clean Seas Please campaign, to a pattern made out of beach stones! Use your imagination, and create something to really show off your love for the beach! Each picture should include the hash tags ‪#‎CSP‬ and ‪#‎LoveYourBeach‬.

Just please, remember, it’s not only people who need love this Valentines Day. The sea needs our love too! So, this Valentines Day, Love your beach!

The Year Of Action

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2014 is an important year for our seas.

With the new EU regulations for bathing water quality changing in October 2015, this year becomes essential in giving our seas and beaches the best chance they have of meeting the new criteria.

A run up, a head of steam, a call to action.

This is the year when we need to do many things …. and we will.

We need to increase awareness of the clean seas please campaign throughout Hastings, Bexhill and Littlestone. We need to tell as many people as possible about what we can do to improve our beaches and seas. We need to do our bit to help.

We need to think about what we continue to flush down toilets, sinks and drains.

We need to make sure we don’t leave litter or dog waste on the beaches or feed the seagulls so much that their poo makes it worse (more on this another time).

And …

We need to let agencies, councils, politicians, other campaign groups and water companies know that we are concerned.  That we want … no …. what we demand, is better bathing water and cleaner beaches.

We need as many people as possible to sign up to the Clean Seas Please campaign through our website.  On Facebook and twitter every like, every comment, every share and every follow has a positive impact.  It registers the concern of local residents. It registers to our politicians that their constituents want pressure on the water companies to ensure the new standards are met.   It registers to Southern Water that the local population want action ….. that they want Clean Seas Please!

Your sign up tells the powers that be that enough people care about this to make a change.  But this change can only start to become real when more people make their voices heard.

So this is our call to action.  Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your colleagues, tell everybody!  We all need to register our support for cleaner seas.

Make 2014 our year of action so that 2015 is our year of triumph.

(posted by Dan)

Priory Meadow

Why I Give A Dam

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It’s easy in our busy world, rushing here there and everywhere, to ignore things that really do require some of our attention.  This is even more so when we are asked for some kind of action or to change how we currently behave.  Oh no, not another thing to do we cry.  What do they want us to change now?  Why should it always be me?

Just think about the donations that are sought from us on an almost daily basis, the DIY we keep putting off till tomorrow, that errand we really must do but somehow never quite gets done.

Trust me, I write from experience.  My life is spinning at a thousand miles an hour with a range of projects and activities, including my own studies, to complement holding down a full time job.  Oh yes, and then there is the family (and bless their patience with me).  Lots of things all vying for my attention and life, you could say, is a tad hectic at the moment.

So, why, when everything else is in chaos, do I still dedicate time to the Clean Seas Please campaign?  Why do I care about what people flush down their toilets, wash down their sinks, and leave on the beach.

You know why?  Because it’s my beach!  It’s my sea!

photo

And I want to carry on using it for years to come.  I want my kids to use it and then my grandkids.  I want future generations to frolic in the surf and have the pleasure of playing on my beach, because that’s what I did as a kid.  I recall every summer, on the beach, day in day out, sometimes with fiends, sometimes with family, sometimes by myself.  There was even a stage when people paid me to be on the beach – the sea was the reason for my summer jobs – laid back, slowly tanning, watching the swimmers go by, and occasionally plucking one from the water when they found themselves in a spot of bother.

The thought that my beach, my sea, may not be clean enough for me to use in the future upsets me.  The thought that it might not be available for my grandkids, and their kids, should absolutely horrify all of us.

And you know what, if there is something I can do to prevent this, some small changes I can make in my life, to give my beaches and my seas a fighting chance, then you know what, I will add that to my list of things to do.  I may not be the solution.  How can I be: me, by myself, with little impact.  But if we can get enough of us to make some changes, and encourage others to do the same, then why not.  It is time to give a dam. It is time to clean our seas.

 

Stormy Seas Please?!

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On Sunday the 27th volunteers descended on Hastings beach to undertake a beach clean. However, the weather had other ideas. We had been checking the weather forecast all week, only to see more weather alerts gradually appear warning us of an impending storm. Despite the warnings of 80mph winds and torrential rain we were determined not to cancel the event, a bit of wind can’t hurt anyone, right? As we were driving into Hastings we could see the black clouds hovering over the beach, but that wasn’t enough to stop us. We eventually all arrived, with various family members, dressed head to toe in thermals ready to face the weather.

We waited for the storm to pass, eventually sending Dan out for a quick scout of the beach, only for him to return a while later soaked right through – he forgot to put on his waterproofs – we thought he’d blown away at one point as he was gone for so long. We decided to call it a day after this, our thermal leggings were almost flying off us and the wind was so strong, if we’d attempted to clean the beach the outcome would have been either one of us blowing away holding the bin bag in the style of the Disney film ‘Up’, or the bin bag splitting undoing all our hard work.

Thank-you to everyone that turned up, it was a shame that it didn’t go ahead, but we tried, and have re arranged for another time, when hopefully we won’t have the worst storm since 1987! October a group of enthusiastic Clean Seas Please.

Baby wipe poem

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A poem about a baby wipe

It’s sad but also true

For when done with mopping baby things

Its flushed right down the loo

“Its gone” the owners cry with glee

As it spins around the pan

The pack said it is flushable

Now isn’t that just grand

But with regret this isn’t true

Well some it is, but not

Flushable may say the pack

But it takes some time to rot

So it sits there in the sewer well

Catching more than you dare think

What else goes down your toilet bowl?

And the kitchen sink?

The wipe it grows, it clogs right up

With everything it binds

A big old snag the sewer has

Now nothing will pass by

So the lesson here is nice and simple

You must bag your baby wipe!

Please don’t flush that mucky rag

Make sure you bin at night.

 

Link – can a wet wipe pull and aeroplane?  Check this out – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGq4QJfWvxY&noredirect=1