No one likes a littered coastline! Which is why 9 of our team here at Blas y Tir had a day away from the office to assist the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Keep Wales Tidy and Surfers Against Sewage in a thorough beach clean on Frainslake beach, at Castle Martin Range, on 22ndAugust. The beach is located on the edge of an active military firing range, it is therefore only accessible for few short periods of time a year, when the range is not in use.
The beach is further restricted due to passed sightings of the rare ‘Strandline Beetle’, (Nebria complanata). A population over 300 individuals was observed at Frainslake in 1997, numbers have since declined, and no individuals were observed on the last count. Next year there will be another population count. Should there fail to be a sighting of the medium-sized, pinky winged predatory beetle, it will be confirmed ‘extinct’ in Pembrokeshire. The species chances of survival can be increased by removing strandline materials, hence the increased importance of today’s beach clean.
As a result of restricted access, the littler really had built up! When we arrived we got to work straight away and our bags filled in no time. It was incredible to see all the paraphernalia that had washed up! Throughout the course of the day our staff discovered all sorts of unsightly finds ranging from fire extinguishers to trailer wheels, bottle tops to shoe soles, wet wipes to fishing nets and masses of plastic bags. Although the exact weight of our findings were not measured, the image below displays the vast mass of unwanted litter we unearthed…
Blas y Tir Sustainability and Technical Executive, Mererid Jones commented; “The day was really fulfilling, and taking part in events like the beach clean enables us to support the local community, as well as ensure our historical coastlines remain beautiful for years to come. I believe events such as these are more important now than ever, as last year beach litter measured was up by 6%”. Mererid is a very enthusiastic environmentalist and she is constantly looking for ways to reduce our impact on the environment. She later commented; “Throughout the course of the day our team met many phenomenal volunteers who regularly selflessly give up their time to help keep our surroundings clean and tidy. This has got me thinking, and I would like to organise full staff beach clean later this year, we could also appeal for volunteers using our social media.”