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Final call for Cumbria beach lovers to join coastal clean up

Natasha Ewins2[T]he Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the UK’s leading marine charity, says it hopes a last push for people volunteering for its ‘Great British Beach Clean’ (16th – 19th September) around the Cumbrian coastline will ensure some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK aren’t being taken for granted.

So far just two volunteers have registered to clean up at the six Cumbrian beaches where events are planned.

The MCS beach clean event takes place every third weekend in September as part of the charity’s year round Beachwatch programme. Volunteers who get involved in Cumbria will be joining an army of beach cleaners not only around the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, but all over the world as part of the global International Coastal Clean-up, which takes a snap shot of beach litter across the planet on a single weekend.

Lauren Eyles, MCS Beachwatch Manager says all the Great British Beach Clean events are organised by volunteers who are the lifeblood of the event: “We want to match last year’s figures and see at least 6,000 volunteers taking part – 148 of which were from Cumbria. We’d love to see people heading to the county’s beaches and helping clean up at the events that have been organised at:

Oldside
Seascale North
Drigg
Maryport North Quay
Maryport South Beach
Harrington North.”

Each event only takes a couple of hours and, alongside the clean; 100 metres of beach are surveyed. The form is straightforward to complete, and helps MCS to add to the local and UK litter data picture, as well as the global view. Each clean-up has an organiser so there’s plenty of advice on the day on how to fill in the simple data sheets. This information will be used by MCS to work with governments and industry in the charity’s ongoing work to stop litter getting on to our beaches in the first place.

Lauren says the data collected through the Beachwatch programme is vital: “It helps us identify different litter sources and raise awareness of particular problems. We’re currently running a campaign for clearer wet wipe labelling after our volunteers found on average, 50 wet wipes per kilometre of beach they cleaned! So far almost 6,000 people have supported our petition to get retailers to make their packaging clearer.”

To get involved in the Great British Beach Clean 2016 in Cumbria and be part of the most influential fight against marine litter in the UK visit www.mcsk.org/greatbritishbeachclean You can also speak to the team on 01989 566017

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