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Beaches need help to stay litter-free

PUBLISHED: 10:38 11 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:40 03 July 2010

Your beaches need you! That was the message this week after it emerged that only four Norfolk beaches - including just two in the Great Yarmouth borough - took part in the biggest annual beach survey aimed at ending the scourge of litter.

Your beaches need you! That was the message this week after it emerged that only four Norfolk beaches - including just two in the Great Yarmouth borough - took part in the biggest annual beach survey aimed at ending the scourge of litter.

Results of the survey released this week by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) show that compared to Suffolk where hundreds of beachcombers turned out to scour miles of sands, in Yarmouth just 26 people picked up and recorded litter along a few hundred metres of beach.

In September last year when the survey was carried out 23 people turned out in Caister and three in Scratby to clean and survey their beaches.

They contributed to results which show that litter has increased by 110pc since surveys began in 1994, endangering wildlife and spoiling the environment.

Whereas in Suffolk over 500 people took part searching some of the main holiday beaches including Lowestoft, Pakefield and Southwold.

MCS spokesman Rachel Bailey said the charity wanted to put Norfolk at the forefront of a campaign to attract more volunteers and stoke up interest in the adopt a beach scheme.

With so many popular holiday beaches dotted along the coastline she said the apparent apathy in resorts like Great Yarmouth which prides itself on its golden sands was difficult to fathom, adding: “We are really struggling to get people in Norfolk.”

However, Graham Plant, cabinet member for tourism at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said locals were proud of their beaches and that he often received feedback about how clean they were. He suggested more people would have got involved had they known about it.

The other beaches surveyed in Norfolk were Sheringham and Old Hunstanton.

MCS uses the data to target the main litter culprits - daytrippers and fishermen - and to lobby Government to do more to safeguard the environment. The survey message is that anyone that drops litter could be responsible for the deaths of wildlife worldwide who eat plastic bags or become entangled in everyday items.

To find out more visit www.mscuk.org


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