Sailors from Cornish Royal Navy base took advantage during a break in the winter weather to help clean up on the country’s most popular surfing beaches.
The personnel from RNAS Culdrose, near Helston, joined students from Falmouth and Exeter University, as well as local residents at Porthtowan Beach, in North Cornwall as part of Keep Britain Tidy’s BeachCare project.
The cadets arrived to shocking scenes of destruction after the recent storms. Solid stone walls had been smashed to pieces and rocks strewn over car parks and into the surf centre. Litter bins had been tossed around and huge logs and parts of trees thrown inland from the sea.
The group arrived to complete a beach clean but before that could happen, the area was cleared of debris. With the extra “muscle” of the cadets, hundreds of rocks were restacked and stricken tree trunks were removed.
Neil Hembrow, BeachCare – “It’s fantastic that we have this support from the Royal Navy as they are always up for a challenge… The BeachCare project is aimed at getting local communities involved and this is usually done through beach cleans, but we also do some dune restoration work”
At the end of the beach clean 40 bags were removed by 29 action men and women. Amongst the debris, over 1000 plastic bottle tops from drinks bottles which plague our oceans and seem to get deposited on our beaches after storms were picked up.
Neil Hembrow, BeachCare Officer for the South West, said it was great to have the Navy crew on board; “It’s fantastic that we have this support from the Royal Navy as they are always up for a challenge.
“The BeachCare project is aimed at getting local communities involved and this is usually done through beach cleans, but we also do some dune restoration work.
“The winter storms have given us lots of litter on the beaches of Cornwall and it’s great that these volunteers get involved helping at their own beaches.”
Since 2010 there has been over 307 BeachCare cleans at 30 South West beaches that have removed well over 51 tonnes of litter.
More than 90 percent of this is has been plastic waste which does not bio-degrade and remains a danger to marine life and beach environments unless removed.
The latest bad weather has not helped with large amounts of rubbish strewn across South West coastal areas, as well as many other beaches all around England.