Volunteers clear a sea of rubbish from beach

Volunteers came out to help tidy the beach at Alnmouth Foxton.
Volunteers came out to help tidy the beach at Alnmouth Foxton.

Volunteers cleared more than 400kg of rubbish from the beach at Foxton, Alnmouth.

The helpers hauled all sorts of debris from the area, including netting, broken lobster pots, tyres, buoys, wooden pallets and plastic.

Helping to keep the beach clean.

Helping to keep the beach clean.

Last Wednesday’s litter pick was organised by Laura Shearer, from the Coast Care initiative.

It followed concerns raised by volunteer marine mammal medic Jane Hardy about the state of the beach, having attended a seal rescue.

Jane, from Alnwick, was delighted with how the beach tidy went, but admitted the amount of litter collected was staggering.

She said: “Earlier this month, I was asked by HM Coastguards and British Divers Marine Life Rescue to check a seal at Foxton beach and I was appalled by the amount of litter there was.

“It wasn’t really litter that had been dropped by people, but rather fishing gear, such as lobster pots and fishing wire.

“I informed Laura, who kindly organised the beach clean, and the amount of debris collected was staggering.

“Ghost fishing (what fishing gear does when it has been lost, dumped or abandoned) is a real issue. Since the start of the year, we have had five entangled seals in Northumberland – and they are just the cases that we know of.

“There were also at least 10 dead seabirds – it was like a graveyard. The birds were victims of the rough seas.”

Coast Care is supported by National Lottery Players through the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is delivered by Northumberland Wildlife Trust, the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Seahouses Development Trust.

The initiative enables volunteers to access training, support and resources to conserve and protect the north Northumberland coast.

Project coordinator Gary Campbell thanked all of the volunteers who helped at Foxton and said that beach cleans are absolutely critical.

Over the next few months, Coast Care beach tidy-ups will take place at Warkworth, Bamburgh, Beadnell, Low Newton, Embleton, Howdiemont/Sugar Sands, Boulmer and Amble. Members of the public are welcome to join in.

For more details, visit www.coast-care.co.uk