Marine Conservation Society seeks 10,000 volunteers to get down and dirty for the ‘Great British Beach Clean’

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© Rob Drake-Knight

The UK’s leading marine charity, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), says recent figures showing the highest amounts of litter on British beaches in twenty years, have prompted it to launch a mass beach participation event ‘The Great British Beach Clean’ to highlight the issue of Britain’s dirty beaches.

The charity says that, in a year when pride about all parts of the UK will reach a peak with the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, we should try and reconnect with our coastline to ensure it’s a safe, clean place for this generation and those to come.

Last year MCS’ annual litter clean and survey found on average 2,309 pieces of litter per every kilometre of the coast cleaned.

The charity says that between 19th and 22nd September 2014 it hopes to make Britain's beaches clean for one weekend.

MCS Beachwatch officer, Lauren Eyles, said: “We want to break the record for the greatest number of beaches cleaned in one event. We're aiming to clean at least 400 beaches for our 'Great British Beach Clean' this September, and do a litter survey on all of them.

“Beach litter is a serious environmental problem, but the solution is in our hands. The first step is the register as a volunteer. We want the ‘Great British Beach Clean’ weekend to offer a snapshot of what the future could look like for the British seaside if we turned the tide on litter.”

Get involved
The Great British Beach Clean – be part of the biggest and most influential fight against marine litter in the UK. Find out more at or telephone 01989 566017.

More info
MCS Beachwatch is MCS’ coastal environmental initiative, supporting local individuals, groups and communities in caring for their local shoreline. MCS Beachwatch Big Weekend is our annual flagship event, now in its 21st year, and it occurs on the third weekend of every September. It represents the UK’s input to the global International Coastal Cleanup (representing 152 countries and locations), which occurs over the same weekend in September, providing a world-wide snapshot of marine litter.

Data collected by thousands of volunteers from hundreds of beaches around the UK is published by MCS the following spring in the Beachwatch Summary Report. This document is used at regional, national and international levels to raise awareness of the impacts of marine litter, to promote measures to reduce litter at source and to campaign for marine litter legislation. The 21st Beachwatch litter survey and beach clean ‘The Great British Beach Clean’, will take place between 19th and 22nd September 2014

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