Beach Cleans & Marine Litter Surveys
The marine reserve rangers organise and lead groups of volunteers to carry out beach cleans surveying marine litter on 4 beaches in the local area 4 times a year. That’s 16 beach cleans a year.
We also get involved in any wider coastal clean ups and can arrange to support groups, schools and corporations who would like to do beach cleans.
Why beach clean?
Waste and litter in our seas threatens and harms our marine life and birds. Some species get entangled and other marine life and birds accidentally eat some litter, mostly plastic thinking it is food. The litter is also unsightly on our beaches and affects tourism.
Not just a beach clean!
Our beach cleans are important, because as well as removing the litter we count, weight and record all the different types of litter we find on every beach clean. This data gets submitted to the Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch who use the data to campaign to the decision makers and manufacturers of the types of litter to find solutions to the problems.
What do we find on our beaches?
On all beaches, the main thing we find is unidentified small pieces of plastic. They are pieces that have broken down over time from items that have been discarded or blown into the sea or from ships transporting goods. On the two main beaches used by the public, Eyemouth and Coldingham, we find a lot of the marine litter is things that have been dropped, blown in or deposited from the rivers; food packets, cigarette stubs and wet wipes. The main litter type on the remaining two beaches is fishing line, rope, tangled net and larger items like broken lobster pots and tyres.
You can look at the most recent Great British Beach Clean 2019 report published by the Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch team. In the future we will be analysing and publishing our own local report from data we have collected so we can see how it compares to the rest of the UK and over the years so we can use this with the local community and businesses here to try and make a difference.
Which beaches do we clean and when?
The 4 beaches we clean and survey are Eyemouth, Killidraughts, Coldingham and Linkim Shore. We do them 4 times a year in January, April, June an September. We tie in with the timing of the Marine Conservation Society Great Spring Beach Clean in April and Great British Beach Clean in September.
How do I get involved?
Look out on our Facebook page and on the events section of our website to find out when the beach cleans - then wearing suitable clothes and footwear - just turn up! We welcome everyone, under 16's should be accompanied by an adult. Killidraughts and Linkim Shore beaches are a short walk and slightly steep slopes. Coldingham and Eyemouth are more accessible and easy to access and great to get started if you’ve never done a beach clean before.
What can I expect on a beach clean?
We provide all the equipment, litter pickers and reusable sacks. If you wish to use gloves please bring your own - we have hand sanitiser. Following the same method that Marine Conservation Society survey beaches across the UK, we survey 100 metres of beach picking up and recording all the different types of litter we find. We can go beyond the 100 metres if we have time, but keep to 2 hours maximum.