This time last year the nation watched in awe as David Attenborough took us on an incredible underwater journey around the world, concluding with a harrowing chapter revealing some of the shocking effects that plastic pollution is having on our oceans.
Blue Planet II created a huge wave of passion to help alleviate the pressure on our seas and it’s fantastic that so many people are making changes in their everyday lives to reduce their use of plastic. Social media is totally awash with tips and alternatives, which is a joy to see!
We’ve also been completely blown away by the number of volunteers and corporate groups who have taken part in beach cleans with us this year. Throughout 2018, we were been joined by 156 different people on beach cleans across Sussex, who have either joined as a volunteer on a public event, or taken part on a 'Work For Wildlife' day with their organisation – that’s around 312 volunteer hours!
As well as cleaning the beach, we’ve also conducted litter surveys which have fed into the Marine Conservation Society’s Beach Watch dataset. By collecting data about what we’ve found, we’re not only preventing litter from damaging the marine environment, but we can also look at trends, and have data to prove the importance and severity of this issue.
During the nineteen events we’ve organised this year, we’ve collected just over 12,000 pieces of litter, equating to approximately 170kg in weight. In addition to this, we’ve also retrieved huge quantities of fishing net from the beach and wooden groynes at Seaford Head.
Rye Harbour Nature Reserve also conduct monthly beach cleans, meaning the above figures are an underestimate for the amount of litter Sussex Wildlife Trust has collected this year.
I would like to personally thank all the volunteers who have joined us on beach cleans this year – well done for all your efforts!
If you’d like to join us on a beach clean next year, you can find upcoming events for winter and spring in our What’s On guide.