Hundreds flock to Southsea beach to help clean up our shoreline

Litter pickers armed and raring to go before the Southsea beach clean on Saturday, July 6. Picture: David George
Litter pickers armed and raring to go before the Southsea beach clean on Saturday, July 6. Picture: David George
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THERE wasn’t a stone left unturned on Southsea seafront at the weekend, as hundreds of people took part in an operation to tidy up the beach.

From South Parade Pier along to the far end of Eastney, litter pickers scoured the shoreline for rubbish that has been left behind by those more careless with their waste.

Louise Camden, 60 from Southsea, left, with Mary Smith, 33 from Hilsea at the monthly Southsea beach clean. Picture: David George

Louise Camden, 60 from Southsea, left, with Mary Smith, 33 from Hilsea at the monthly Southsea beach clean. Picture: David George

Organised by Southsea Beachwatch, the event saw people find an abundance of cigarette butts, as well as disposable barbecue equipment and even swimwear.

As part of the event, the organisers laid out a 100m area of beach to analyse, with data being sent back to the Marine Conservation Society, which feeds back information to help steer government policy on waste.

Organiser Jane Di Dino said: ‘With the MCS survey we can track exactly what’s being found on the beach.

‘Just over half of everything we find on Portsmouth's shoreline is plastic, in one form or another.

‘There are’t so many plastic straws around these days which is a huge plus, but in the summer months the shoreline is littered with abandoned swimwear, disposable barbecues and that sort of thing.’

One of those taking part in the weekend’s beach clean was 13-year-old Sam Norris, from Portsmouth.

Along with his mum, Stella Price, Sam is taking to the shoreline at least once a fortnight, as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award.

Sam said: ‘As part of then award we have to provide evidence, so we have been taking photos of what we find on the beach.

‘There was one time where people had hidden their waste in a buried plastic bag, which is awful.’

His mum Stella added: ‘This is something local that gets you out of the house and feeling a bit more proud about where you live.’

Mary Smith, 33 from Hilsea and Louise Camden, 60 from Southsea, were walking along the seafront together – having only just met moments before.

Mary says it was the ‘Attenborough Effect’ that got her involved with the beach clean, saying that it’s about ‘doing something to stop the plastic from going into the oceans’.

Louise said: ‘I have a grandson who’s growing up and I don't want him living in a plastic-filled world.’