Beach cleaning is educational, great fun, and many people find it relaxing and therapeutic too. It reveals to us how our actions affect the natural environment, but it also allows us to “switch off” and contemplate whilst picking up bits of plastic. Fresh air, exercise and the satisfaction of doing your bit to keep the beach clean and safe – what’s not to like?!
How our sessions are run
Once a month on a Sunday morning 10.30 am to 12.30 pm (date depending on the tides) we set out our equipment stall on the prom below Crosby Baths (the Mariners Road entry to the beach). However, when it’s raining we meet under the canopy of the Baths. On a few occasions we have had to cancel due to very persistent rain and / or very strong wind; it’s not fun and not safe to litter-pick on the beach in horizontal rain or whilst being sand-blasted! (We announce cancellations on our Facebook page).
Step 1 – Signing-in
We will ask you to:
- put your name down (forename is enough) on a laminated sign-in sheet – this is so we can keep track on the day and later “tick you off” to mark that you returned safely
- declare whether you agree for your photo to be taken – this is the GDPR bit, we use photos to publicise our work (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and occasionally we send them to local newspapers). If you do not give us a permission to photograph you, we will give you a different coloured Hi-Vis vest so we know not to include you in the frame when taking photos.
- state how many adults and juniors (under 18) are in your group
Step 2 – Equipment supplied
- yellow Hi-Vis vest –the Council often operates heavy machinery on the promenade or the beach itself. For your safety it’s best if you are highly visible. The sea of yellow vests on the beach also looks great on photographs 😉
- gloves – you can bring your own or use ours. Gloves are needed when tackling particularly stubborn pieces of rubbish that insist on staying put buried in the sand (usually strings or balloon ribbons).
- litter-picker, bag hoop and bin bag(s) – we have litter pickers for adult and children. If you have never beach cleaned with us, we will show you how to mount a bin bag onto the hoop. You may gat a spare bag if you wish, it will save you coming back to our equipment stall with a full bag.
Step 3 – Health and Safety brief
If you have never attended our beach cleaning session we will brief you on beach safety and what to pick up and what not to pick up. We display our safety guidelines on the railings by the equipment stall.
Step 4 – You are ready to go!
Some Dos and Don’ts
Whether you decide to join our organised session or to do a solo beach clean, please observe beach safety rules:
- Do not walk into any muddy areas which become exposed at low tide; it is very easy to get stuck
- Preferably, set off during a receding tide – there will be no danger of being cut off by an incoming tide
- Wear suitable clothing for the weather: warm and waterproof in cold or windy weather, and light in hot weather – make sure you remember to wear sunscreen and bring sunglasses in case of glare
- Wear sturdy footwear, closed toe shoes – broken glass or disposable BBQ metal grills buried in shallow sand can cause injury
Here below is a list of items to pick up and things that should be left.
Put in a bag
- Man-made items (plastic, glass, metal, fabric, sanitary products)
Leave on the beach
- Dead animal or parts of
- Egg cases
Please do not overload your bag – bags can get heavy very quickly as beach litter is covered with wet sand, and wet fabrics are heavy too. To prevent back injury please fill the bag only up to the point when you are still able to easily carry it. When doing a solo beach clean please leave your bag tied by the nearest bin.
Never pick up items with your bare hands, wear gloves or use a litter-picker. Use disinfectant gel after you finished.
Each session runs from 10:30 till 12:30, but you can take as little time as you can spare. However, we ask to watch your time (time flies when one enjoys themselves) and be back at the stall by 12:30 to return the equipment and sign-out.
After you return:
- We will take the bag from you and tie it up
- We will collect your equipment
- We will ask you to state how many bags you collected in total (this will also be your signing out, we will then know you safely returned)
- You will be offered use of our hand gel
We love when adults bring children and dogs to beach cleaning sessions, but they are the sole responsibility of the adults who bring them. We are covered by our own public liability insurance and the RNLI vehicle cruises up and down, but we do ask everyone to take careful note of the health and safety guidelines displayed on the railings.
There are toilets and a café at the nearby Baths. Cafe Vita at the baths is plastic-free!
Our Beach Cleaning Sessions really do make a difference
2019 was another fantastic year thanks to our superb volunteers, who clocked up a staggering 3485 hours between them, more than double the number in 2018 and that’s despite having to cancel 2 Sunday cleans because of bad weather! This equates to approximately 67 hours per week, the equivalent of 2 paid workers! We collected 306 FULL BAGS – and by full, we mean just that as we combine the bags at the end so as to reuse them. We cannot thank you enough for turning out in all weathers, always cheerful and glad to play your part in keeping our beach clean and safe. We look forward to another phenomenal year in 2022.
In 2018 and 2019 we organised a number of bespoke beach cleans for schools, firms and other organisations. If anyone else would like to come down in the week, please fill in the booking form on our Contacts page and we will do our best to accommodate you, bearing in mind that the team are all volunteers, most of whom work.
We understand that firms are given tax relief for sending their employees out on community projects like this and we would, therefore, ask them to make a contribution to enable us to buy equipment. Needless to say, we would not ask this of schools or non-profit organisations.