A TEAM of volunteers smashed the record for beach cleaning in the Isle of Man after collecting an incredible 75 bags of rubbish in just over an hour at Ballaugh Cronk at the weekend.
Many residents from the nearby area, some of whom were volunteering for the first time, joined in the session organised by Beach Buddies.
The session was also supported by two members of Ballaugh Commissioners – Heather Melvin and Peter Cannan – who have been keen supporters of beach cleaning along the parish coastline.
Ballaugh is well known as one of the main collection points for rubbish, but the huge amounts of debris – particularly plastic bottles – was a daunting prospect for the volunteers as they started the session.
Regular volunteer Tim Cross, who took part with his wife Jane, said: ‘A stretch of beach approximately 500 metres long was well and truly covered in litter, with one section that had an incredible amount of plastic bottles. The heart sank.’
However, around 90 minutes later the area had been totally cleared of all rubbish, with more than 1,600 plastic bottles separated by the volunteers for recycling, together with a large bag of tins cans and metal.
Numerous large plastic barrels, commercial fishing gear and nets, and one full barrel of used diesel oil, were also amongst the massive collection.
‘The glorious weather conditions undoubtedly made a difference,’ said Beach Buddies organiser Bill Dale.
‘But every single one of the volunteers has to be congratulated for the exceptional effort to completely clear an area of coastline which is well known as having a constant litter problem. We had 45 volunteers, which is a record number for Ballaugh, and collected 75 bags full of rubbish, which beats the previous record set last autumn by PokerStars staff at Gansey.
‘It was a truly fantastic effort by everyone – and I think everyone left with a great sense of achievement.’
The next ‘Big Team’ beach cleaning session will be staged this Sunday morning at Fisher’s Hill, starting at 10.30am for one hour. Litterpickers, gloves and bin bags will be provided by Beach Buddies, who will also arrange for collection and/or recycling of all rubbish collected.
Volunteers are advised to wear warm clothing and good walking boots – and new volunteers are warmly welcomed to join in.