Current Issues

Results of the Great British Beach Clean, Selsey

October 5th, 2018 by Nikki
Volunteers picking litter, East Beach ©Nicola Timney

Volunteers picking litter, East Beach ©Nicola Timney

 

Currently an issue firmly in the public eye, the infiltration of micro-plastics into our ecosystem and the wide-reaching consequences caused by waste from our shores, are a constant reminder of the need to stop littering. This year marks the 25th anniversary that the Marine Conservation Society has highlighted the importance of keeping our sea-side litter free, through the annual Great British Beach Clean.

 

In September, as part of the weekend of litter picking events and in tandem with Chichester District Council’s new Against Litter campaign, Community Wildlife Officer Sarah Hughes organised a clean of the popular East beach, in Selsey. Over forty volunteers attended the session on Saturday 15th, with a trio even travelling to us from Surrey, after spotting our event on the beach clean list! Small groups were each allocated a 10 metre stretch of the beach to clean, with a total of 200 metres of sea-side covered on the day. Participants were also given a survey to complete throughout the task, to record the types of rubbish being collected.

 

Volunteers Jonny, Chloe and Paige from Surrey ©Nicola Timney

Volunteers Jonny, Chloe and Paige from Surrey ©Nicola Timney

 

Surveying is a key aspect of the Great British Beach Clean, because this data is used to influence changes in legislation for the most frequently found types of litter. To date, the micro-bead ban and taxes on single-use bags have been successfully implemented thanks to data contributed by beach cleans. Our volunteers were diligent, picking up fiddley pieces of rubbish, consisting of broken plastic pieces, a few centimetres or less in size, along with a high number of cigarette stubs, which contain hidden plastic themselves. More unusual items found included a metal pole and clipboard clamp, both brought back to shore by the Mulberry Divers taking part in the clean, and fishing hooks hidden amongst the shingle.

 

East Beach is maintained fairly consistently, and some volunteers noted on arrival that the beach seemed well kept. In fact two litter picks had already taken place within the weeks prior and throughout the day of our clean many visitors at the beach expressed that they make litter collecting a regular part of their walks along the coastline. Despite expectations of a low yield, 32.25 kilograms of litter were found by the end of the two-hour session.

 

A summary of our findings is shown below:

Common Items:

 

Cigarette stubs: 194

Plastic pieces <2.5cm: 112

Plastic pieces >2.5cm <50cm : 88

Fishing paraphernalia: 77 items

Plastic and metal caps/ lids: 74

Plastic rope pieces: 68

Plastic and foil food wrappers/ packets: 65

Plastic cutlery / straws: 46

Pieces of glass: 43

Bagged dog faeces: 36

Metal scraps, barbed wire and mesh pieces: 31

Wooden lolly sticks/ chip forks: 30

Cable ties: 13

Plastic shopping bags: 10

Plastic pieces >50cm: 7

Weather and tidal factors will affect the amount of litter dropped or washed up onto a beach every day and our results have shown that even with regular beach cleans, litter is an ever-present fixture of the British coastline for the foreseeable future. To improve the state of our beaches and the ocean, we must use our discovered data to push for the prevention of litter being created in the first instance.

 

Thanks go to the Selsey & District Lions Club, who provided our volunteers with a BBQ to celebrate their fantastic efforts whilst the results of our Great British Beach Clean were contemplated.

 

Community Wildlife Officer, Sarah Hughes [2nd from left] with the Selsey & District Lions Club ©Nicola Timney

 

Details on how to collect data on litter and organize your own beach clean can be found on the Marine Conservation Society’s Website.

 


Post by Nikki

Southend Farm tool shed

April 22nd, 2016 by Dave Haldane

We are in the process of positioning a large metal container to replace the wooden sheds at Southend Farm. The plan is to remove the contents of the sheds into the landowners large barn, as a temporary measure until the sheds are removed and the container sited. Sarah and I have removed most of the contents from one shed but we could do with some help on Wednesday morning 27th April around about 10 am to clear the second shed. Until the site is cleared of the sheds (landowner to arrange this) we cannot go ahead with the move, so in the short term it will be difficult to gain access to the equipment stored in the barn as the landowner is the key holder and we cannot expect him to be at our beck and call. If anyone requires tools or materials for events taking place in the next few weeks, please come along Wednesday and take what you need.

Local Development Framework Response

June 3rd, 2013 by Gina
Manhood Peninsula

Aerial view of the Manhood Peninsula

Chair Dr. Jill Sutcliffe has responded at length to the consultation on behalf of the group.  The main point of the response is that Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure should be given significant priority in planning matters. For full details of the response contact Dr. Sutcliffe. Email: chairman@mwhg.org.uk