VOLUNTEER beach cleaners cleared a mile-long stretch of coastline at Cranstal at the weekend, and described the complete clearing of the beach of rubbish as ‘a small miracle’.
However, claims that the beach was neglected and had been cleared ‘for the first time in living memory’ have been challenged by a furious Bride Commissioners.
A team of 26 volunteers from the Beach Buddies scheme got stuck into their first major project of 2013 at Cranstal, an area they described as one of the island’s most affected beaches in terms of the accumulation of rubbish, with the coast between Cranstal and the Point of Ayre having ‘a huge problem’ with mostly plastic refuse.
After spending just over an hour at work, the volunteers collected 33 large bin bags of rubbish, including lots of plastic items they said were clearly very old and had been there for many years.
The group also recovered a large commercial lobster pot from the beach which had been lost by a local fishing boat during recent storms, which the crew has arranged to collect this week.
Following the cleaning session, Beach Buddies arranged with the Northern Civic Amenity Site to recycle the estimated 1,500 plastic items.
However, members of Bride Commissioners took exception to comments made by Beach Buddies during a radio interview, and have pointed out the beach is usually cleared once a year by a local team headed by chairman of the commissioners Jimmy Kneen.
Mr Kneen said: ‘These people obviously do not know the local area or the amount of rubbish that washes up on the beaches annually.
We were not able to clean the beach last year, due to a number of factors including illness and the appalling weather. Beach Buddies are only seeing the accumulation of two years worth of rubbish.’
Commissioner Michele Edwin agreed.
‘I have helped to clean the beach every year since we came to Bride,’ she said. ‘It is good fun and we would like lots more people to help us next summer and come to the BBQ afterwards. In the meanwhile, I think Beach Buddies should do a little research before they make similar statements in future.’