Families join together in beach clean
CHILDREN and their families have been doing their bit for the environment by taking part in a community beach clean.
On World Water Day more than a hundred people removed plastics and litter from Hayling Island beach. The event was organised by the Inn on the Beach in collaboration with Final Straw Solent and Hi-5, a partnership of the island’s four primary schools and one secondary school.
Hi-5 chairwoman, Lou Earp, said: ‘Living on the island it is a fundamental responsibility to keep our beaches free from plastics and rubbish. Today is about removing any plastics from the beach as well as educating the children about plastics and the environmental damage they can cause.’
One of the biggest concerns for Final Straw Solent is the harm plastics can cause to both the wildlife and the marine ecosystem.
Co director, Lizzie Pollard, said: ‘We get lots of plastics collecting around the shores of Langstone Harbour. It is in the top ten UK locations for breeding seabirds who ingest the plastics and also feed it to their chicks. We also have harbour and grey seals who can become entangled in larger plastics.’
Lizzie added that a previous beach clean had resulted in 193 kilos of waste being collected from the beach.
Many of the children involved have been studying about the environmental impacts of plastics and had even made models out of single use plastics to help highlight the issue.
Lilly Dewar, aged 7, said: ‘I wanted to come down and help because I don’t want the wildlife to die. So far I have picked up plastic pieces, foam and cable ties.’
Jasmine Lund, also 7, added: ‘It is important to remove the plastics as it can make the wildlife poorly and also cause them to become trapped.’
The Bancroft family are keen paddle boarders and decided to take part after seeing an increase in plastics when out on the sea.
Albert, aged 12, said: ‘I have seen plastics and rubbish when out on my board. Things like containers, rope and netting can harm wildlife. Plastics also take thousands of years to break down.’
Father, Al, added: ‘It’s important to teach children from an early age about the damage plastics can cause. They are the generation who will be most affected and can hopefully help to bring about change.’
All those who took part were rewarded by the Inn on the Beach with a hot drink and snack. Children also had the opportunity to take part in face painting and a rowing competition.
Alex, the inn’s events manager, who did not wish to give her surname, said: ‘This is part of out drive to integrate more with the local community. With our beautiful coastal location it is only right we do our bit to support the environment and be more sustainable. We intend to make this an annual event.’