More than 600 surfers supported the "Making Beaches Barefoot Friendly" tour

August 11, 2009 | Environment

‘Making Beaches Barefoot Friendly’

Surfers Against Sewage’s (SAS) ‘Making Beaches Barefoot Friendly’ tour supported by Barefoot Wine was a great success, eclipsing last year’s fantastic effort. With the help of 600 SAS supporters we removed more than 2 tonnes of litter from the 6 beaches we visited, including:  

Newquay, (Fistral’s South End) on 29th July
Croyde (Baggy Point End) on 30th July
Bournemouth (By Bournemouth Pier) on 31st July
Llangennith (Hill End Campsite) on 1st August
Saltburn-by-Sea (By the pier) on 2nd August
Brighton (NIVEA SUN Yellowave Beach Sports Venue, Madeira Drive) on 3rd August

Regional round ups:

NEWQUAY was hit by torrential rain, but over 40 volunteers picked up over 160kgs of litter.  We even found a shopping trolley!  Everyone was drenched but spirits were high and the effort was appreciated.

CROYDE was sunny and thanks to the local surf club, our local SAS Rep Mikey Corker of Loose Fit Surf Shop and Surf South West Surf School, was the best attended with over 250 beach cleaners.  Even though Croyde is cleaned regularly our army of supporters found paving slabs, cookers and lots of broken glass as well as the usually plethora of plastics.  More than 500kgs were collected.

BOURNEMOUTH, as was the case last year, was full of cigarette butts.  Cigarette butts take 15 years to break down as they are made from 12,000 plastic fibres. 1 cigarette butt can pollute 3 litres of seawater.  The 40 volunteers only picked up 65kgs but we removed thousands upon thousands of cigarette butts during the clean 

LLANGENNITH was where we picked up the most litter.  Just under 100 volunteers picked up over 800kgs of rubbish, including 3 car wheels and a burnt lump of fishing net that was too heavy to be weighed!  As with all the beaches, the majority of the marine litter was plastics. 

SALTBURN had the keenest volunteers with young and old rolling up their sleeves.  A special thanks to Nick Noble for promoting the event locally.  We found 4 syringes and lots of cotton buds on Saltburn, a worrying sign off a recent raw sewage spill, probably associated with the recent heavy rainfall.  Again there were several car tyres and even half a tractor tyre that contributed to 486kgs collected by 100 volunteers. 

BRIGHTON is a deceptive beach, as it’s mostly pebbles the litter is harder to see.  But we still found bags of it.  Again loads of cotton bud sticks and beach-users litter.  We even found Nemo (a toy clown fish). 

The 2009 SAS Making Beaches Barefoot Friendly tour built on the success of last year’s efforts.  It’s a great day where we can offer everyone the opportunity to engage with and protect an environment they care about.

Andy Cummins, campaign officer, SAS, said “It was a great achievement collecting over 2 tonnes of litter from the 6 beaches we visited.  The majority of the 2 tonnes was plastics, and if we hadn’t removed it from the beach it would never have truly broken down in the environment.  These beaches weren’t chosen because they are especially dirty, they were chosen because they are average beaches and we could collect similar levels of litter from beaches all over the country.  They were also chosen because they had a strong community to help SAS with the clean up, and at every beach clean the locals did themselves proud!”   

The beach cleans were followed by a delicious, free BBQ on the beach for all volunteers organised by Barefoot. And after the BBQ volunteers, friends and family enjoyed an evening of fun surf quizzes and free Barefoot wine.

Ali Feest, Chief Barefooter, said “It is fantastic news that this year’s tour was such a success and that people from every community rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in.  We really enjoyed hosting BBQs at every stop on the tour, each giving us the opportunity to reward the volunteers for all their hard work and for them to sample a selection of delicious Barefoot wines.

Our partnership with the SAS has enabled us to transform six beaches around the UK into stunning Barefoot Friendly beaches and to get them back to the way nature intended. Our hope is that the good work will continue within the community over the coming years and that the beaches will be a place to kick off your shoes and have fun.”

Epitomising California cool and laid-back fun, Barefoot is the perfect wine for lazy, sunny evenings unwinding with mates and chilling out on the beach. From the seriously lush White Zinfandel and the refreshing Pinot Grigio to the jammy Merlot and – the new addition to the family – zesty White Zinfandel Bubbly, there is a Barefoot wine for everyone to enjoy.

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