Pitch in with a beach clean

We look after 780 miles of coastline, providing havens for wildlife and beautiful beaches for everyone to enjoy. But we need your help to clear up the rubbish that washes up on our shores.

We run events up and down the country throughout the year. If you'd like to lend a hand to keep these places special, why not join in with one of our regular beach cleans?

Unusual beach finds show scale of pollution problem

Cleaning up our coastline has never been more important. Our list of the top 20 most unusual things found on the beaches we care for shows the scope of the challenge with rubbish coming from as far afield as Canada, Saudi Arabia and the Caribbean.

Some of the items discovered are decades old, including a ‘Claws’ crisp packet from 1976 and a bottle of rum from post-Prohibition America, both found at Formby, Liverpool.

A council bin travelled 70 miles along the River Nene to Blakeney Point, a peaceful coastal spot known for its population of grey seals. And a cargo lost at sea in 1994 means that thousands of pieces of nautical-themed Lego have been arriving on beaches ever since. 

Phil Dyke, Coastal Specialist at the National Trust, said: 'As weird and wonderful as these items are, they tell a more serious story about the permanent nature of plastic, and the constant deluge of marine waste and litter arriving on our shores.'

" Removing harmful plastics, bits of lost fishing gear and polluting domestic rubbish from our beaches will help to ensure that seals and seabirds do not get entangled, fish and other marine animals do not swallow pieces of plastic and that we have beautiful clean beaches for our holidays. "
- Sue Wells, marine project manager, National Trust

Unusual items found

National Trust Great British Beach Clean

Thank you for helping us keep your favourite beaches clean and tidy

We would like to thank all the visitors and volunteers who have done their bit to clear litter from the beaches we love. All of your hard work means the coastal places we look after are safer for wildlife and more beautiful to visit.