The reduction of plastic pollution in our oceans and rivers has become one of the most highlighted environmental campaigns, lead by Surfers Against Sewage, in recent years and here on The Flete Estate, we are committed to help in any way we can by keeping our beaches as clean and plastic free as possible. The introduction of recycling bins on Mothecombe Beach in 2018 has helped to encourage visitors to dispose of their litter responsibly but sadly that does not stop plastic and other items of flotsam and jetsam being washed up on our shores.
It is reported that every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans with over 5,000 items of marine plastic pollution being found per mile of beach in the UK. (stats taken from surfers against sewage website www.sas.org.uk/our-work/plastic-pollution/plastic-pollution-facts-figures/)
We are often approached by local community groups, schools, universities and businesses who wish to help by carrying out a “Beach Clean” on their local beach.
Recently, we welcomed pupils (and the dog!) from Sparkwell Primary School to our Coastguards Beach, located just below our row of our Coastguards Cottages, to take part in a beach clean as part of their topic work on climate change and the environment.
Head Teacher, Francesca McLoughlin kindly wrote the below for us to share with you following their day on the beach.
Sparkwell Primary School achieved the Plastic Free Schools Award last year and we have continued our work to learn more about climate change and help to protect our environment. We have a group of ‘Eco-Rangers’ who carry out lots of missions and organising a beach clean was one of their pledges this year. Thank you to the Flete Estate who gave permission for us to visit Coastguards Beach on Saturday 8th June. Luckily the rain clouds cleared, and the sun came out and we got to work. We were pleasantly surprised at how clean the beach was, however once we searched the high tide line, we found a lot of micro-plastics, the coloured pieces were easy to find and we had to look carefully for clear plastic. After an hour and a half, we had half-filled a Bag for Life with these small pieces of plastic. We enjoyed doing this, the children found time to look for shells and crabs and paddle in the water too!
Well done to the Eco Rangers of Sparkwell Primary School, we think your amazing so keep up the good work!