Mystery as hundreds of blue plastic gloves wash up on north Norfolk coast

The Blue Gloves found on North Norfolk beaches in the last few weeks

The Blue Gloves found on North Norfolk beaches in the last few weeks - Credit: Archant

The sea can, on occasion, throw up some real mysteries in the objects that wash up along our coast.

Weybourne Beach where hundreds of blue plastic gloves have been washed on the beach. Picture: MARK

Weybourne Beach where hundreds of blue plastic gloves have been washed on the beach. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

The latest puzzle from the deep is who might have had a hand in the vast haul of blue plastic gloves that have came ashore in recent weeks.

Hundreds of the items have washed up along a short section of shoreline between Sheringham and Weybourne, causing bewilderment to locals.

Beachcombers have reported finding traces of oil and grease on the finger tips, as well as smaller fragments, suggesting more gloves have been broken up by the sea.

One Sheringham resident described finding six to ten each time he walks along the beach close to the town. He said: 'I have found literally hundreds along this relatively short stretch of coast. These gloves are obviously being disposed of on an industrial scale. I have also picked up several clear ones but not so many of those.'

The blue plastic gloves found on the beach at Sheringham and Weybourne in the last few weeks.

The blue plastic gloves found on the beach at Sheringham and Weybourne in the last few weeks. - Credit: Archant


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Suspicions as to what might be behind the strange spate vary from a container which has fallen from a vessel and broken up at sea, to the objects having washed up from offshore windfarm facilities. However, officials in the sector have suggested they are unlikely to be the source, as workmen on their sites tend to use sturdier gloves.

The Surfers Against Sewage group has launched Unidentified Floating Objects campaign to reduce marine litter on Britain's beaches

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Campaigns and policy officer David Smith said: 'Usually with something like this it turns out to be from a single source. It is important to quickly find that and make sure it does not happen again.'

Four north Norfolk beaches – Cromer, Mundesley, Sea Palling and Sheringham – were recently awarded coveted Blue Flag status. A further two – East Runton and Wells – have won the Seaside Award which guaranteeing visitors a clean, safe, attractive and well-managed coastal environment.

North Norfolk District Council cabinet Member for Coastal Management and Environmental Services Angie Fitch-Tillet said: 'The past few days' high tides and rough weather have a huge impact on cleansing efforts along the coastline. If people see large amount of debris pushed up onto the beach due to bad weather they should contact us so we can inform our contractor as soon as possible.'

Do you have a story relating to our coast? Email miles.jermy@archant.co.uk

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