Marine litter is a huge problem on beaches, and in seas and oceans around the world. Litter can be harmful and often fatal to wildlife through entanglement and ingestion. It is believed that over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and turtles die every year as a result of marine litter.
Usually Dorset Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers remove about a ton of litter each year from Chesil Beach but due to Covid-19 restrictions, this has not been possible.
For this half term, Dorset Wildlife Trust has teamed up with Wessex Water, who have donated 25 new litter pickers, made from recycled ocean plastic, to help with beach cleans. Wessex Water will be at the Chesil Beach Centre on Tuesday 27th October (weather dependent), talking about how everyone can help protect our seas and beaches by being careful about what they flush down the toilet.
Marc Kativu-Smith, Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Coastal Centre Manager said: “Marine litter is a real problem for wildlife and sadly we see it regularly on the nature reserve at Chesil Beach and around the Fleet Lagoon. We are delighted to now have new measures in place to keep everyone safe and are inviting small bubbles of 6 people or less to book a timeslot. Litter pickers will be provided, but we recommend you wear some thick gardening gloves. You can book your slot on 01305 206191.”
Wessex Water’s Tim Stevens said: “We’re lucky to have wonderful beaches like Chesil in our region and it’s great to be part of this unique clean-up. Many people are unaware of the environmental impact of flushing items such as wet wipes, which often contain plastic and cause blockages in sewers that lead to pollutions.”
Throughout the week, you can also drop into the Chesil Beach Centre to play a game of Bubble Beachcombing Bingo or start your Christmas shopping at the Chesil Opticron Optics day on Saturday 24th October 10am – 4pm and treat yourself or a loved on to new pair of binoculars or scope. All profits go straight back into conservation work in Dorset.
The Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre at Kimmeridge is also hiring out Seashore Explorer Backpacks over the October half-term for £6. The pack includes a plastic free crabline, eggcase hunt leaflet, nurdle cup, shell hunt booklet, and seashore code booklet to keep. This is another great activity to do as a family or in a bubble, where you can have fun and safely socially distance along the beach. For more information phone, 01929 481044.
Find out more about visiting all our Visitor Centres here.