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‘All you need is a spare bag’ - Residents cleaning up ‘horrendous’ beach litter urge others to do the same

PUBLISHED: 16:25 29 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:46 29 June 2020

Marie Lily, who lives in Gorleston, spent her Saturday morning collecting bottles and discarded rubbish from Gorleston beach. Having lived here her whole life, she said she has never seen such disrespect for the environment before. Photo: Marie Lily

Marie Lily, who lives in Gorleston, spent her Saturday morning collecting bottles and discarded rubbish from Gorleston beach. Having lived here her whole life, she said she has never seen such disrespect for the environment before. Photo: Marie Lily

Archant

Residents fed up with “horrendous littering” along the Norfolk coast have now taken matters into their own hands.

Broken glass on Gorleston beach, which local resident Billy Kerrison picked up on his daily trawl for litter. He said that cans and broken glass are the worst, because they pose a risk for children who are trying to enjoy playing in the sand. Photo: William KerrisonBroken glass on Gorleston beach, which local resident Billy Kerrison picked up on his daily trawl for litter. He said that cans and broken glass are the worst, because they pose a risk for children who are trying to enjoy playing in the sand. Photo: William Kerrison

As hundreds flocked to the seaside last week, piles of rubbish were left at Great Yarmouth and Gorleston beaches, leaving the council and conscientious individuals with the task of clearing up the mess.

Jasmine Henson, who lives on King Street, was one of the people who spent two and a half hours on Wednesday picking up litter left by Britannia Pier.

She said: “The rubbish left behind was horrendous - I couldn’t just turn a blind eye to it. There was broken glass, dirty nappies, takeaway boxes. It’s so much worse than it usually is at this time of year.”

While Ms Henson was litter picking, a group of four boys aged between 13-14 approached her.

Broken glass on Gorleston beach, which local resident Billy Kerrison picked up on his daily trawl for litter. He said that cans and broken glass are the worst, because they pose a risk for children who are trying to enjoy playing in the sand. Photo: William KerrisonBroken glass on Gorleston beach, which local resident Billy Kerrison picked up on his daily trawl for litter. He said that cans and broken glass are the worst, because they pose a risk for children who are trying to enjoy playing in the sand. Photo: William Kerrison

She said: “Initially I thought they were going to start laughing at me, but instead they got stuck in. It was a heartwarming moment.

“Even they, at their young age, could see how bad things had gotten. I explained to them that litter picking would stop so much plastic waste going into the sea, and they seemed really responsive to the fact that we all need to play our part here.

“All you need to do is take a spare bag along with you.”

One of the teenagers was Kian Roden. His mum, Sarah Carter, said that she “couldn’t be prouder” of what her son had done - to help both the environment and Miss Henson.

Jasmine Henson, who lives on King Street, said she has been trying to clear up litter on the beach for years. As she suffers from chronic pain, the help from the group of young boys was much appreciated. She said that everyone must play their part in keeping the borough tidy. Photo: Jasmine HensonJasmine Henson, who lives on King Street, said she has been trying to clear up litter on the beach for years. As she suffers from chronic pain, the help from the group of young boys was much appreciated. She said that everyone must play their part in keeping the borough tidy. Photo: Jasmine Henson

Billy Kerrison, from Gorleston, has also been trawling the beach every day for months in search of litter.

He said: “The council are doing a good job now, with big bins in place for all the rubbish, but people need to be more respectful of the environment. Leaving glass and cans on the beach is dangerous for kids in particular.”

For Penny Carpenter, chair of the council’s environment committee, removing litter from beaches has become a “mammoth task” for council workers.

She said: “I don’t know what’s going through people’s psyche. Sometimes I feel despair at the fact that people can’t just take their rubbish home with them when the bins are full.

“We want people to come to Great Yarmouth and visit, but people need to respect our environment.”

She added: “I am happy for anyone to organise a litter pick and contact me. I will provide the correct equipment and come along to help.”

Mr Kerrison said that bigger bins were helping with the problem, but that people need to make sure they don't leave smashed glass around for kids to cut their feet on. Photo: William KerrisonMr Kerrison said that bigger bins were helping with the problem, but that people need to make sure they don't leave smashed glass around for kids to cut their feet on. Photo: William Kerrison

Penny Carpenter, chair of the council's environment committee, said that she'd retrieved shoes, clothing, plastic, towels, lighter fuel, bbqs, rope, cans, nappies and cardboard from her litter picks on Great Yarmouth beach over the past week. Pic: Norfolk Conservatves.Penny Carpenter, chair of the council's environment committee, said that she'd retrieved shoes, clothing, plastic, towels, lighter fuel, bbqs, rope, cans, nappies and cardboard from her litter picks on Great Yarmouth beach over the past week. Pic: Norfolk Conservatves.

You may also want to watch:

After council workers cleaned the beach on their 6am shift Sunday morning, it was looking exactly how it should - litter-free. Picture: ArchantAfter council workers cleaned the beach on their 6am shift Sunday morning, it was looking exactly how it should - litter-free. Picture: Archant

After council workers cleaned the beach on their 6am shift Sunday morning, it was looking exactly how it should - litter-free. Picture: ArchantAfter council workers cleaned the beach on their 6am shift Sunday morning, it was looking exactly how it should - litter-free. Picture: Archant


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