Volunteers met at Southbourne on Saturday morning to start a clean up operation to restore our award winning beaches to their previous enviable state. BCP Council and Community Action Network (CAN) have been recruiting volunteers to help pick up the large amounts of debris left recently on the beaches. This is as a result of the devastating impact so many visitors have had, despite the continued requirements to maintain social distancing, requests to take litter home and not to use BBQs.
BCP Council have arranged teams of 12 volunteers to cover shifts for two hours over the course of each day through to Tuesday. Many of the volunteers are already supporting the council through the Together We Can scheme. The Dorset Community Payback Team, part of the Probation Services are providing supervisory staff to help and support the teams of 12 volunteers to litter pick on the beaches. The volunteers are provided with equipment and PPE and maintain safe two metre social distancing.
There was a good turnout at the first litter picks on Saturday. It was a windy day, but the volunteers enthusiastically tacked the debris on the paths, cliff top and the beaches.
Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council said: “Our beaches have been left in a very sorry state recently following the huge influx of visitors, despite our requests for them to take their litter home and not to use BBQs.
“It’s been fantastic to see people willing to give up their time to keep our beautiful area clean and wonderful to have the support of the provision services to support this work which we hope to continue.”
Naomi, a local resident, volunteered at the litter picks on Saturday, and is committed to get the beaches clean again. She said: “It matters to me because I live here and I find it devastating that people come here and trash it”
The beach litter picks will be taking place until Tuesday in locations around Southbourne down to Hengistbury Head. It is hoped that this project will help engage many more residents in caring for our beautiful environment further along the coastline.
To find out more how you can help keep our coastline tidy https://www.bournemouth.co.uk/ideas-and-inspiration/leave-only-footprints
If you are interested in volunteering with our Together We Can scheme, please register your interest here: https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/News-Features/COVID19/Find-help-or-help-your-community/How-can-I-help/how-can-i-help.aspx
For more information about Community Action Network: https://www.can100.org/