Beach runner's bid to highlight plastic pollution in our oceans
- Credit: Chris BIshop
An environmentalist ran through a Norfolk seaside resort to highlight the issue of plastic on our beaches.
Luke Douglas-Home hopes to run Britain's entire coastline in stages, picking up plastic as he goes.
He began his 11,000-mile journey in Great Yarmouth in November. On Saturday, he pulled on his running shoes at Hunstanton, with friend Simon Nixon, before setting off for Snettisham.
"I'm hoping to end the Norfolk chapter before the swifts come at the beginning of May," he said. "Then I'll be heading up to Lincolnshire and Yorkshire."
Mr Douglas-Home, a 51-year-old environmental consultant based in London and Burnham Overy Staithe, hopes to complete the coastline in 13-mile stages, using public transport to reduce his carbon footprint and collecting 1kg of plastic on each half marathon.
Andrew Jamieson, chair of the Norfolk Coast Partnership has urged people to join him to show support.
On Saturday he was seen off by Hunstanton mayor and mayoress, Adrian and Catherine Winnington and town councillor Cynthia Easeman on a sunny but windswept beach.
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"As a council, we've banned single-use plastics from council property and we've got our Slam Dunk The Junk campaign to get rid of rubbish," said Mr Winnington.
After the runners were waved off, their first half a mile or so took them beneath the famous candy cliffs, whose breeding colony of fulmars are under threat from ingested plastic, which can block their digestive system.
Seabirds which dive for surface food are among the most vulnerable to swallowing plastic.
"A lot of birds pick up plastic and think it's food," said Mr Winnington. "They think they're full, but they're full of plastic and they starve."
Fulmars were gliding over the cliffs as Mr Douglas-Home and Mr Nixon got into their stride. As they reached the seafront, they were forced onto the Prom by the rising tide as they pressed on for Snettisham.