On the 4th March 2018, Britain’s Biggest Beach Clean took place on Shoreham by Sea’s spectacular beach and nature reserve. 650 people combed the beach for anything that shouldn’t be there and found 180 bags of rubbish, 100 bags of recycling, and lots of other interesting things, including a fire hydrant, a huge metal pole, a seemingly ancient ring pull and some good examples of how plastic is permeating into many different ecosystems. A video of the event can be found here, along to the soundtrack provided by Joss Stone, of her stunning new song, Oceans. And another video, of the organiser, and author, Georgina Stevens, talking about the reason for the event can be found here.
Volunteers were treated at the end by Local pie company, Higgidy serving free homemade veggie and sausage rolls to the cold and wet volunteers to help them to warm up, when they had finished their cleaning! And drinks were kindly supplied by Cawston Press, with various other refreshments (not in any plastic!) was given out by local food cooperative, Infinity Foods.
Georgina reacted to the turnout, by saying “We were just amazed by the response to the event – we had over 950 people register, and at least 650 turned up on the day! We felt sure many fewer would turn up on such a cold and wet day, but it seems that people really care about this issue. We hope the event and these pictures will send a strong message to Government that the time to act on this issue is now, and we will certainly be sending pictures to Michael Gove, with some ideas as to how he can bring forward much needed action in this area, well before 2042. We also hope the event sends a message to everyone about how powerful we all are. Even if we only pick up one piece of litter each day, or use a reusable water bottle or a reusable bag, it makes a huge difference to our world. For too long too many people have been made to feel helpless on these issues, because it is in the interests of too many powerful people and companies, for them to not act. But the power lies with us! We can show those companies who use too much unnecessary plastic by not buying their products, and shopping with retailers or companies that are making more of an effort. Or we can simply leave the packaging at the till points.”
The beach clean began as a quirky idea for a launch party for the book by Georgina, when she moved to Shoreham and fell in love with the beach. But the event soon spiralled into something much bigger when it became clear how many people cared about this issue.
David “Freddie” Carr of Ben Ainslie’s Landrover BAR team – a real campaigner for saving our oceans – and his wife Bianca Carr who has recently set up the campaign group “The Last Straw Emsworth” also came along to the event.
If you want to get involved, or find out more go to the Be The Change Books website and drop us a line. The book and the audiobook, read by Jeremy Irons and featuring the song Oceans, sung by Joss Stone are available here. Profits from the book are split between Greenpeace and the Social Plastic Foundation.
Georgina’s next book is about air pollution and she will probably launch it during a large cycling event – maybe Britain’s Biggest Bicycle to School event?!
Georgina Stevens 07765006879 for quotes or media assets.