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Volunteers help Blakeney Point wildlife with beach clean

Local volunteers and National Trust staff clearing washed up rubbish from a 2-mile stretch of Blakeney Point,
Local volunteers and National Trust staff cleared washed up rubbish from a 2-mile stretch of Blakeney Point. | © Hanne Siebers

Local volunteers have carried out a day-long beach clean along Blakeney Point, removing plastic waste and other debris that could be hazardous to grey seals and their pups during the upcoming pupping season.

The clean-up was made possible thanks to a collaboration between National Trust staff and volunteers, volunteers from Blakeney Harbour Association and Norfolk Wildlife Trust, and local seal boat trip operator Beans Boat Trips.

Owing to the difficulty of reaching Blakeney Point, which is most easily accessed by boat, the beach clean needed both boat transport and a committed team of volunteers who were willing to devote a full day to the task.

Beans Boat Trips played a key part in the day, ferrying the volunteers from Morston Quay to Blakeney Point and back again at the end of the day.

There was a great response from members of the local community who signed up to volunteer for the day. The combined efforts of more than 20 volunteers and National Trust staff meant that the team were able to clear a significant quantity of plastics and other litter from a 2-mile stretch of beach.

In total, 30 bags of rubbish were collected, enough to fill an 1,100-litre wheelie bin. A huge range of rubbish was collected from shoes and face masks to fish boxes and rope. Lots of small plastic was collected, including many cotton buds and pieces of polystyrene.

National Trust rangers monitored what was collected and data will be submitted to the Marine Conservation Society, as part of the annual Great British Beach Clean.

Duncan Halpin, National Trust Ranger, commented:

“In total around half of Blakeney Point was cleared of rubbish that had washed up over the last year or so. Reducing the amount of waste on the beach decreases the chance that any of the thousands of seals that come to breed here over the winter will become entangled.

“The beach clean has also reduced the likelihood of more microplastics entering the environment and negatively affecting wildlife. It was a great team effort by the local community to reduce the impact of marine pollution on the wildlife that we all cherish.”

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