Surfers Against Sewage – Big Spring Beach Clean 2019

When the internet is constantly awash with distressing pictures of the plastic polluting the planet it’s heartening to be able to report a success story for a change.

The recent beach clean at Mothecombe produced a surprisingly small bounty despite a keen army of volunteers scouring the white sand and dunes for over two hours. The pollution on this beach, however, is well hidden in the sand. Nurdles, the tiny beads, are the raw materials from which almost all plastic is produced. Collecting them is a time-consuming and laborious task.

This beach is private, and very well cared for by the conscientious Flete Estate, the owners of which go to great lengths to ensure the beach is inspected weekly and daily in the high season. The head gardener reported that they find the usual washed up rubbish including fishing nets and crates, and plastic bottles etc. Sadly, other beaches don’t get such close attention, but it just goes to show what can be achieved when regular stewardship is in place. And it’s not difficult if we all pull together- it was heart-warming to meet and talk to local people who said they collect plastic waste every time they visit the beach. Half of the volunteers were families on holiday.

I believe it’s all about harnessing stewardship mentality for our natural world instead of ‘resource’ management.

Beccy Rogers – Surfers Against Sewage (South West Rep)