Get Drastic With Plastic: Volunteers clean up Boulmer beach

Some of the rubbish collected by Coast Care volunteers on Boulmer beach.
Some of the rubbish collected by Coast Care volunteers on Boulmer beach.

Coast Care volunteers, armed with grabbers and bags, combed the beach at Boulmer, picking up rubbish and litter.

Coast Care is a partnership delivered by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Seahouses Development Trust.

Coast Care volunteers took part in a beach clean at Boulmer.

Coast Care volunteers took part in a beach clean at Boulmer.

Created to train, support and resource volunteers to contribute to the management and conservation of the Northumberland coastline from Berwick to Amble, it is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A beach clean will be held at Amble on February 21 from 11am.

Meanwhile, environmental campaign group Sea the Change, which operates from Seahouses in the south to Coldingham in the north, is supporting an initiative by milkman Daren Bruce to re-introduce glass milk bottles and the traditional milk round in Berwick.

Milk can be delivered to the door twice a week, empties collected and carted away – recycling in the traditional sense and fewer throwaway cartons to worry about.

Juliana Amaral, co-founder of Sea the Change, said: “This is definitely a small step in the right direction towards a sustainable environment. So many locals have signed up for the new service that Daren has so far already managed to create two new jobs; and he has no plans to stop there.”

Speaking at a Berwick Town Council meeting, she added: “The uptake has been amazing. This time last year he was delivering about 600 bottles of milk in glass. Now he is delivering 3,000!”

Sea the Change is a not-for-profit organisation based in Eyemouth.

“Our focus is on the outdoors and specifically the sea,” said Julia. “What we want to do is foster respect and appreciation for our environment.

“We are very concerned about the issue of plastic in our sea and although we live in a beautiful area it only takes a short walk along New Road to find quite a few bits of plastic that will eventually end up in the sea.”

A couple of weeks ago, the group was registered to lead on a Plastic Free Berwick campaign developed by Surfers Against Sewage.

“Talking about going plastic free is a little bit overwhelming because plastic is everywhere in our life but the Plastic Free Berwick campaign is very simple,” she said.

“It’s all about making three small changes around the use of single-use plastics. There are many alternatives out there and those are the kind of conversations we want to have in the community.

“So far we have had a lot of positive responses from local businesses, the library and local shops, especially on Bridge Street, which want to embrace the cause. For this campaign to be successful we need the support of community groups and schools too.

“There is a lot we need to work on to achieve plastic-free status for the town but it’s quite simple.

“In a town the size of Berwick, all we need is six local businesses signed up. But we don’t want to do it too quickly. It’s not a tick-box exercise. It’s about building up information and awareness and helping people to make small changes.”