Volunteers collect 114 bags in beach cleans

Beach cleaning volunteers

Beach cleaning volunteers

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Volunteers removed 52 bags of rubbish from a beach in the north of the island at the weekend.

A one-mile stretch of beach at The Dunes, near The Lhen, was cleared by 32 Beach Buddies volunteers on Sunday, removing 52 bags of rubbish

However, it was the sheer diversity of the objects found that surprised the volunteers.

‘We always find a wide range of items, some very small and some very big, but we had everything you could think of this weekend,’ said Beach Buddies organiser Bill Dale.

On Sunday the wide range of items found included three 10 gallon oil drums full of used diesel oil, two huge pieces of steel mesh, believed to be the remains of sea defence gabions, four traffic cones, ten metal lobster pots, 19 plastic lobster pots, five wheels with tyres, six tyres, one tractor tyre, a giant roll of thick polythene, three fish boxes, and any number of pieces of rope and fishing nets.

But, the main item removed from the beach at The Dunes was, once again, plastic.

Thousands of plastic bottles, many hundreds of bottle tops, and plastic items in all shapes and sizes.

The volunteers at The Dunes were mostly residents from the nearby area, once again including some new faces, and also the local MHK Eddie Teare, who has been a regular volunteer in recent years.

Rushen MHK Juan Watterson was also involved in the previous day’s beach cleaning session at Brewery Bay, Port St Mary, and conducted an interesting experiment by counting the number of items he found in one small area of beach.

Mr Watterson removed every item of rubbish from an area measuring just one square foot, and found more than 40 items including cigarette lighters, bottle tops, plastic wrappers and numerous unidentified small pieces of plastic - the sort of things that can choke and kill small seabirds.

The session on Saturday saw 42 volunteers collecting 62 bags of rubbish, only just short of the record-breaking weekend the previous week at Fisher’s Hill.

‘This was a wonderful effort by everyone who took part,’ said Mr Dale.

‘The weather was really not very pleasant at all either day, with a biting cold wind and some really unpleasant conditions particularly on Saturday at Brewery Bay.

‘But the volunteers were simply fantastic, yet again and have made another huge impact on the beaches. Both Brewery Bay and The Dunes have been transformed by their efforts, for everyone to see.’

• This coming weekend Beach Buddies is supporting the UK national campaign with ‘Surfers Against Sewage’ and is joining in a special event ‘The Big Spring Beach Clean’ at Castletown Bay on Sunday, March 30, meeting at 10am at the Hango Hill car park.

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