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©Marine Conservation Society - Natasha Ewins

Record numbers of volunteers set to clean UK beaches this weekend

Written by Samantha Lade, Donr

Published on Thursday, 13th September 2018

Record numbers of volunteers set to clean up UK beaches this weekend

The organisers of the annual Great British Beach Clean believe they are expecting to see record numbers of volunteers, at more beaches than ever before, at this weekend's UK-wide event.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has been running the four-day beach cleaning extravaganza for the last 24 years, has predicted that the 2018 event will beat all previous records.

In 2017, 6,944 volunteers attended beach cleans at 339 locations all over the UK from the very north of Scotland, right down to Cornwall. 

But this year, before any litter has been picked, 7,391 volunteers have pre-registered at 431 cleans.

Lizzie Prior, MCS Beach and River Clean-up Project Officer, says previous years' experience shows that numbers registered pre-event can often triple over the weekend itself. 

She said: 'Last year, by this time, a couple of thousand volunteers had registered, but our final figures were just short of 7,000. Since then, we've seen the BBC's Blue Planet II effect, so that more and more people have been keen to clean beaches at our many events through the year.

'We hope it'll make this year's Great British Beach Clean the biggest, by volunteer number, ever!'

And it's not just the public that are keen to grab a litter picker and help stop the tide of rubbish that is engulfing our beaches. This year the charity says more MP's, Welsh Assembly Members and Members of the Scottish Parliament than ever before are getting involved.

Elsewhere, Olympic swimmer turned commentator, Sharron Davies, will be picking up litter at Sand Bay in Somerset; and wildlife and underwater cameraman, Doug Allan, will be at Newquay with ‘heavy metal’ marine biologist, broadcaster and Channel 4’s ‘Sunday Brunch’ resident wildlife expert, Tom ‘The Blowfish’ Hird.

The Great British Beach Clean is being sponsored by Waitrose for the second year in a row – with cash from their carrier bag sales in England going towards supporting MCS’ year round beach clean programme.

It's not too late to register as a volunteer or just turn up on the day to one of the hundreds of events listed.