How did you spend your Valentine’s Day?
Roses, chocolates and a romantic dinner for your other half? At Padstow Sealife Safaris we love the beach! So what better way to spend Valentine’s Day than giving it some love back?! Every year on Valentine’s Day, the Your Shore Beach Rangers (in partnership with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Cornwall College) organise Love Your Beach Day, celebrating our favourite place with beach cleans all around the county. This year local marine groups all over Cornwall organised beach cleans for the public to get involved with to clean up our beaches; keeping our seas cleaner and kinder for our amazing local sea life.
We got down to the beach ourselves to get stuck in and do our bit. On first inspection the beach looked fairly clean, however, take a closer look and it’s amazing how many small pieces of plastic you will find. Large pieces of rubbish, particularly big “ghost nets” (fishing nets lost from fishing boats) are of course incredibly dangerous to marine wildlife, tangling them up causing injuries or worse. However, we now starting to realise the real dangers of microplastics – plastic that has been broken up into small pieces in the ocean. These can be ingested by small filter feeding animals and then the toxins from the plastic can work their way up the food chain. So beach cleaning is not all about filling bin bags with all the big stuff; getting those harder to spot tiny pieces of plastic cleared from the beach is just as important for our sea life.
We were rewarded with a fabulous sunny day and a great excuse to spend a beautiful February day down at the beach. If you want to show your beach some love, then get in touch with your local marine group (if you have one) and find out when the next organised beach clean is happening. Or you can get some friends together and do one yourself! All you need is bags or buckets for the rubbish you collect and some suitable clothing for the beach. You can even just pick up a few bits any time you are down the beach walking the dog or going for a stroll. Every piece of rubbish saved from entering back into the sea could potentially save the life of a marine animal. If you are doing a beach clean, we’d love to hear from you. Share your beach cleaning photos with us to show us how you #loveyourbeach