We have kicked off our beach clean activity for the year, by heading back down the Cornwall. We held a clean at Castle Beach in Falmouth in mid-November but due to bad weather, we didn’t pick up as much as we would’ve liked. Therefore, with the help of students from Falmouth University, we set this as our first event of the year so that we could get right back, and tackle the litter we didn’t manage to collect last time. Students from the Marine Watch and Eco Society groups, made up the 19 volunteers who were willing to brave the cold. We also were joined by Joanne and her husband from the ProCook store in Truro, who came to give their time.
Despite the cold and wind, we enjoyed the winter sunshine and set to work with our pickers! Some of the most interesting things were found were as follows:
- Two individual socks
- A giant button
- A pair of glasses
- Shredded iridescent plastic pieces
We have found ghost gear (abandoned fishing gear) on every single clean we have done, and we found some again during this clean. One particularly nasty bundle of netting was lodged so deeply in between the rocks that Joanna, from the Marine Watch society had to go elbow deep to try and pull out this netting.
Something that really made Castle Beach stand out last time, was the amount of wildlife we saw. This time we were thrilled to see dolphins off the coast! We found three different species of crab, such as a velvet swimming crab, and an edible crab to name just two. There was also a huge number of mermaid purses, shark eggs by any other name. We were really inspired by just how passionate and knowledgable the students were about the wildlife we saw!
In total, after two hours scouring the beach, we collected 8.55 kilos of waste. It doesn’t sound like a great deal when compared to some of our other cleans, but interestingly, we found almost no heavy items. The heaviest items we found were a glass drinks bottle and a piece of timber. All of the other items were collected were small and incredibly light-weight. Things like fishing line, microplastic pieces, and cut up netting are found on almost every clean we do, and this beach was no exception.
This was all then taken to the local recycling centre to ensure it was disposed of correctly. When combined with the 12.42 kilos we collected in November, that brings our total to 20.97 kilos collected off Castle Beach.
Thank you to the Eco Society, and Marine Watch Society for their time, and for welcoming us to their back again to their local beach! After such a successful start to the year we can’t wait to see what the rest of 2023 has in store!