Revd Andrew Hill writes… In 2008 Helston Methodist Circuit adopted a beach. We joined in the annual Beachwatch weekend organised by the Marine Conservation Society. This involved committing ourselves to removing litter etc from our chosen beach, Kennack Sands on the designated weekend in September. We also did a more detailed survey of one particular area, recording the type and amount of various categories of litter.
In 2009 we repeated the exercise and hope to make this an annual exercise. 20+ people aged from 10 to 70+ turned out to help so armed with gloves and black plastic bin-liners we set forth. It is amazing and saddening when you start looking closely just how much litter has gathered even on an apparently clean beach.
The 2008 Beachwatch results, to which we contributed, showed the highest level of litter on Britain’s beaches since records began (1994). In fact litter has increased by a staggering 110%. The most prevalent item picked up on the beaches nationally were the dreaded plastic pieces measuring between 1 cm and 50 cm long. Next, were the even smaller plastic pieces and in third place polystyrene pieces.
Last year in Cornwall 56 beaches were cleaned on the Beachwatch weekend. Any Church near the coast could easily join in an existing beach clean or volunteer to organise a beach clean of its own. We advertised the event in the local community inviting others to join with us and encouraged those participating to invite neighbours and friends to join in. It is one small way that we can demonstrate our care for creation.
For further information on the survey and the Marine Conservation Society go to www.mcsuk.org.