We have returned to Swansea Beach for yet another beach clean, opposite the Singleton Campus. 32 volunteers from the Standing Paddle-boarding, Wild Swimming, and the Environmental Action societies from the University of Swansea, came down to give their time to clean up the beach they like to enjoy so much, during warmer weather.
Despite the rain, hail and cold winds, 32 volunteers took the sands on the hunt for rubbish. Swansea beach has beautiful views and we were thrilled to help keep this area of coastline clean from litter together.
At first glance the beach appeared to be very clean, but that didn’t stop us from filling bag after bag. Multiple volunteers had to stop to switch their full rubbish bags for new empty ones so that they could keep on collecting.
We found large amounts of sawn timber, bleached, coloured, and full of chemicals, it is important to collect this processed wood to make sure it cannot pollute the ocean when it is washed back out to sea. There were 7.5 kilos of broken pallet pieces, painted fence posts, and more. The most common thing we found were plastic bags, specifically, dog poo bags and black rubbish sacks. Every volunteer reporting finding several bags, with one pair even needing a spade to dig up a knotted pile of bags that had been buried.
Some of the most unusual things we found were as follows:
- Two shoes
- Lots of tent pegs
- Four socks
- A plastic apple
- Two huge wooden posts (weighing around 3 kilos each)
- Large amounts fo clear glass (some had ben weathered smooth whilst some had not)
On many of our beach cleans, we come across mystery items that turn out to be bigger than expected. During our Bangor clean, two inches of wire turned out to be four meters of buried barbed-wire. At Weston-Super-Mare a bag handle sticking out of the sand turned out to be a buried one tonne bag. Well, we had a similar situation happen on Swansea beach. We noticed several lengths of blue rope buried in the sand across the beach. At first we thought the rope might be buried and that the bits we could see would be connected. Volunteers began to dig at the rope on both ends but it quickly became apparent that while the ropes were not connected, they were related. Each rope was tied to a metal tent peg several inches long. There must have been a large marquee on the beach at some point and rather than take out the tent pegs, whoever erected the tent must have just cut the guy-ropes instead, leaving their rope and pegs behind.
After a serious amount of digging, the ropes and pegs were pulled loose. Rather than put them into the recycling, one of the volunteers asked to take them home so that he could use them for future camping trips. We were thrilled at the idea of something we had found being given a new use!
Our two hour clean had to be cut short when the weather began to turn, but we still managed to collect a staggering 50.5 kilos of rubbish from the beach. This meant that this was our largest amount cleared this year, and second largest collection ever; the largest amount we have ever collected in one go being 80 kg.
We were really grateful to the students who gave them time. Some could only spare twenty minutes but still wanted to help and the determination of those who came really impressed us. Thank you so much to the Wild Swimming, Standing Paddle-boarding, and Environmental Action societies who helped to organise the event with us and who encouraged their members to attend. We look forward to holding another event with you at Bay Campus when the weather is warmer.
If you would are part of a society, group, business, or team and would like to take part in a clean up event near you. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to chat with you!