A big beach tidy-up on the north Northumberland coast took place for the third time this year at the weekend.
The latest Big Boulmer Beach Clean took place on Saturday, when the group collected an amazing 87kg of rubbish.
This included an estate agent’s sign, a pan lid, a teapot, a creel pot, a very large lump of industrial foam rubber, a dead rabbit, wooden stakes and iron bars, a rubber mat, children’s shoes and the usual large amounts of small plastics, balloons and fishing line.
The latter are particularly dangerous to marine wildlife, which accidentally swallow the plastic thinking it’s food and get caught up in the fishing line or rubber balloon ties.
A total of 240kg of beach litter has been picked up in the three events this year which form part of the Marine Conservation Society’s Big Beach Clean initiative across the country.
Organiser Ellie Phillips, from Longhoughton, clears litter from Boulmer beach regularly and has collected more than 360kg of rubbish herself in the last six months.
“Boulmer is a beautiful beach and we want to keep it that way, but the tide of marine litter along the Northumberland coast is never-ending,” she said.
“At least we can stop it going back into the sea and doing further damage to local wildlife and the environment.
“We also want to help educate visitors to the beach about how litter endangers marine life by asking them to take the two-minute challenge to pick up any litter they see just for two minutes. If we all did this then we could make a bigger difference.”
Mark Husmann, a member of The Black Fish (www.theblackfish.org), which campaigns against illegal overfishing across Europe, attended the event.
The organisers thanked Northumberland County Council for the loan of pickers and bags and Tommy Rourke, the refuse collector, who tirelessly removes the rubbish after each event.
• Meanwhile, a group of volunteers in Amble has been formed and has started its work by tidying up the Welfare.
The Amble Community Team (ACT) came about as a result of community concerns about the state of the leisure and recreational facilities in the town.
At a meeting held in August, it was agreed that the facilities could do with a little bit of TLC by those residing in the town.
Out of this, a group was swiftly formed by the the very enthusiastic Geoff Edwards and through the use of social media, the team was created.
A committee has been formed and are in the process of writing a constitution which allows them to apply for funding to assist in their aims.
But already one area of Amble is being tackled with great success.
Working with the town council, Amble Development Trust and the county council, willing volunteers have given up their evenings and – in some cases with children in tow – a few hours a day to tidy up the playground, skate park and MUGA area at the Welfare.
The group is looking at obtaining funding to upgrade and decorate the pavilion.
Mr Edwards said: “The aim is to improve the leisure facilities within Amble and to encourage the residents and local commuity to take pride in the facilities in the town.”
For more information on the group, visit Amble Commmunity Team on Facebook or follow @AmbleCommTeam on Twitter.