Beat the plastics on our beaches in Wales

Published : 13 Mar 2018 Last update : 04 Apr 2018

Marine litter is a growing problem, we see all sorts of items washing up on our beaches, from cotton buds and mermaid tears to fishing nets and plastic bottles - keeping the coastline clean is a constant battle.

We care for 157 miles of Wales’ coastline and welcome around 3.2 million visitors to the seaside each year. From Pembrokeshire to Porthdinllaen and Rhossili to Ragwen, we’re encouraging communities to come together and play their part in safeguarding special places for everyone to enjoy, including the resident wildlife.

In South West Wales, our teams in Gower and Pembrokeshire have introduced the Big Beach Clean Challenge where visitors can take part in an organised beach clean at a different location every month. Previous events held have seen more than 200 people join in with more than a tonne of rubbish already collected; the equivalent in weight to a narwhal whale.

In North West Wales, people can get stuck in with the 2 minute beach clean initiative at sites such as Porth y Swnt, Aberdaron, and come along to bigger events such as the Spring Clean beach clean.

If you can’t join us for one of our beach cleans, then you can play your part by becoming a COASTodian. The COASTodian scheme provides regular opportunities for people who visit their local beauty spot to play a vital part in its care, by checking the condition of paths, collecting litter, monitoring wildlife, informing the ranger of any issues and helping others enjoy the site.

“We all have a part to play in caring for the coast and safeguarding these special places for ever, for everyone,” explains Matt Thompson, National Trust area ranger for North Pembrokeshire.

The scheme has already proven popular in Carmarthenshire where a team of four COASTodians commit their time to litter picking and looking after the environment for future generations.

" It’s all about teamwork and community spirit; every item collected and removed from our shores helps make a difference."
- Matt Thompson, National Trust area ranger for North Pembrokeshire