Our first litter pick was Saturday 18th July. Six members (and two welcome supporters) turned out to help with our first event since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. We met for a briefing, then in pairs we tackled different areas of the town and worked our way down to the beach area. We soon realised that there was an even bigger litter problem than we anticipated. In addition to general paper and plastic litter we were finding:
Discarded face masks
Soiled disposable baby nappies
Bags of dog waste
Countless nails from burnt firewood
After we had finished our litter pick, we were all in agreement that more needed to be done and that this was going to be a bigger undertaking than we initially thought. Therefore, we decided to set up weekly litter picks which were held weekly throughout the rest of 2020. As well as litter picking on the beach and in town some of our sessions included residential areas.
We soon became a familiar sight on the seafront and in the town. Members of the public have given lots of encouragement and thanks, some have joined in and have brought their own equipment.
In September, we took part in the ‘Great British September Clean Up’ which was part of the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign to help reduce litter levels on our beaches. This campaign has recently been featured on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC website. It was also the BBC Radio 4 charity appeal in January 2021. Budleigh Lions have signed up to support the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign which highlights the importance of their work in the fight against the rising tide of litter across the UK.
We also took part in the annual Marine Conservation Society’s UK beach clean and litter survey ‘BeachWatch’. Again, we wanted to support and be part of this very worthy cause whilst raising the profile of our Lions Club. This time, we were joined by representatives from Budleigh Baptist Church and local residents.
Our litter picking and beach cleans will be continuing in 2021.......