Beach runner's bid to highlight plastic pollution in our oceans

beach runners

From left, runners Simon Nixon and Luke Douglas-Home are waved off by Hunstanton mayor Adrian Winnington, mayoress Catherine Winnington and town councilor Cynthia Easeman - 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.

beach runner

Simon Nixon (left) and Luke Douglas-Home, who is running around Britain's coastline to raise awareness about plastic pollution in our oceans - Credit: Chris BIshop

"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.

beach runner

Simon Nixon and Luke Douglas-Home are waved off by Hunstanton mayor and mayoress Adrian and Catherine Winnington and town councillor Cynthia Easeman - Credit: Chris Bishop

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.

beach runner

Catherine Winnington, Adrian Winnington and Luke Douglas-Home pick up plastic from the beach at Old Hunstanton, before Mr Douglas-Home set off on the next stage of his run around Britain's coastline - Credit: Chris Bishop

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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.

beach runner

Luke Douglas-Home (left) and Simon Nixon run along the Prom at Hunstanton - Credit: Chris Bishop

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."

beach runner

Luke Douglas-Home is running Britain's coastline to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans - Credit: Chris Bishop

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.

beach runner

Coastal runner Luke Douglas-Home on the beach at Old Hunstanton - Credit: Chris Bishop