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20 volunteers aim to tackle problem of littered Norfolk beaches

PUBLISHED: 12:58 23 July 2018

Volunteers travelled to East Runton to take part in one of a number of beach cleans that are happening across Norfolk. Picture: Will Stewart.

Volunteers travelled to East Runton to take part in one of a number of beach cleans that are happening across Norfolk. Picture: Will Stewart.

Archant

A mass summer clean-up of Norfolk’s beaches continued on Sunday as a group of volunteers travelled to East Runton, Cromer.

Volunteers travelled to East Runton to take part in one of a number of beach cleans that are happening across Norfolk. Picture: Will Stewart.Volunteers travelled to East Runton to take part in one of a number of beach cleans that are happening across Norfolk. Picture: Will Stewart.

A mass summer clean-up of Norfolk’s beaches continued on Sunday as a group of volunteers travelled to East Runton, Cromer.

20 volunteers armed with litter pickers and rubbish bags took to the shores to get rid of any waste that had been left by beach goers or had been washed ashore, as part of the beachwatch initiative.

Organiser Will Stewart said: “It went very well. Each collected a bag of litter in the glorious sunshine.”

“Due to the warm weather today we found an increase in litter from beach users with the overall amount of rubbish found up on the last two cleans.”

Volunteers travelled to East Runton to take part in one of a number of beach cleans that are happening across Norfolk. Picture: Will Stewart.Volunteers travelled to East Runton to take part in one of a number of beach cleans that are happening across Norfolk. Picture: Will Stewart.

The clean-up in East Runton was just one of many beach cleaning events happening in Norfolk in recent weeks, with the Big Coast Clean Up campaign aiming to tackle the issue of littered shores across Norfolk.

Last month volunteers visited the beach at Overstrand and collected 35 kilos of rubbish and earlier this month, beach cleaners found two crisp packets which dated back all the way to the 1960s.

Mr Stewart believes these beach cleans are vital in both keeping marine life safe and ensuring the marine environment is clean.

He said: “Marine conservation society surveys have shown that marine litter has doubled in the last 30 years and by 2050 it’s predicted that they’ll be more pieces of plastic in our ocean’s than fish.

“Whilst walking and surfing in Norfolk I constantly came across marine litter and wanted to do my bit and enthuse others to improve the marine environment.”

The East Runton beach cleans have so far been a success, removing over 100 bags full of thousands of pieces of marine litter, some of which could last in the sea for over 500 years.

Mr Stewart is happy to see the community getting behind something that is so beneficial to the environment, adding: “The support from the community has been fantastic with many local people and some volunteers travelling as far away as Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire to their bit.

“For years I had to walk past rubbish that I couldn’t carry but now collectively with a large team of volunteers we can make a significant difference.”

Further beach cleaning events are planned throughout the summer involving various organisations, with volunteers travelling to Bacton Keswick on July 29, Sheringham on August 2 and Salthouse on August 4.


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