Beach clean-ups planned as record litter levels are found

In the Herald of August 23 you published a reader's photo of the week entitled

In the Herald of August 23 you published a reader's photo of the week entitled "a different view of the Seven Sisters". I allow myself to send you a picture that I would like to name "a different view of Beachy Head". Eastbourne has been my favourite holiday spot for almost twenty years and whenever I am in Eastbourne I cannot return home without having completed a walk up to Beachy Head. During my last stay in August however I got a very different view of the Beachy Head lighthouse, when for the first time I walked at low tide along the beach from Birling Gap to Holywell. Looking up to the lighthouse from sea level rather than looking down at it from the top of the cliffs was an unforgettable experience for me. I got another different view when I realised how much litter there is at the bottom of the cliffs which you cannot see from above. If only people were aware that what they throw into the sea will be washed ashore somewhere sometime. Two very different views indeed! ENGSUS00120130609143524

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Almost 1,000 pieces of litter were picked up at Birling Gap in the annual beach clean, which also recorded the largest amount of litter on our beaches in the last 20 years.

The Marine Conservation Society found enough litter to work out there was more than 2,300 bits of rubbish for every kilometre of beach.

In a quest to tackle the trash, the charity will be running beach cleans and surveys along the coast and urges the public to help out to keep their beaches clean in the lead up the summer.

Lauren Eyles, MCS beachwatch officer, said, “This is a disgusting tide of litter which is threatening the safety of beach visitors both human and animal. It’s coming in from the sea, being blown from the land or simply being dumped and dropped.

“After 20 years of campaigning it’s disheartening that in 2013 we are seeing worse litter levels than ever.

“Plastic is a real issue for our oceans and beaches. This year we also picked up lots of lids and caps. However, despite it being a really warm summer, we saw less crisp, sweets and lolly wrappers and fewer plastic bottles.

“There’s continued good news though for Sewage Related Debris (SRD) – there’s still less of it about after we asked people to stop flushing things down the loo that should go in the bin.”

The Eastbourne beach clean-up will take place on Monday, April 28 (1pm) and start on the beach opposite the Grand Hotel. To register or for more information, visit

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