Q & A - BEACH CLEANS
If you have a question relating to the beach clean events I run, take a look below to see if I've covered it, if not drop me an email I'll be happy to help!
AT A BEACH CLEAN EVENT
- When to arrive?
There is a start time listed on each event (usually 10am).
Ideally, it'd be great for volunteers to arrive 5-10 minutes before the start time to allow for people to sign in / register and get equipment so you're ready for the briefing.
I find most people start to arrive at the start time, which is ideally when I'd like to start the briefing.
So this is just a reminder to please arrive earlier if you can, thank you.
- Where do we clean?
Litter gets everywhere, so spread out and cover as much of the beach as you can, you're welcome to cover surrounding areas such as the car park, pavements, hedgerows, sand dunes, etc.
- When do we finish?
Most beach clean events run for 2 hours, I give a briefing at the beginning to clarify the finish time.
It may be that an event is cut short due to unforeseen weather, but this will be mentioned in the briefing.
The event listing on Facebook will also detail the start/finish time.
- Where do we put the rubbish?
This will be mentioned during the briefing, however I usually ask for the rubbish to be put beside the sign in table.
Leave the bag hoops on the reusable sacks, they don't need to come off for me to empty the rubbish.
- What do / don't we pick up?
Pick up anything and everything un-natural...
Only pick up dog poo if it's bagged, if it's loose just leave it...
Broken glass is ok to go into the reusable rubbish sack as they're quite robust, however be careful when carrying the bag that you don't graze the bag on your legs just in case. If you are to pick up broken glass, try to contain it in a container you've picked up (i.e. a coffee cup, plastic cup, takeaway container, etc).
Don't pick up any dead animals.
If you find a needle, only touch it using the litter pick provided, contain it inside a container (if possible) and return back to the meeting point where there is a dedicated sharps bin to safely contain and dispose of it.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE RUBBISH?
At the end of the beach clean, I empty all contents from the reusable sacks into plastic bin bags.
I then record the weight of all the bags and put them by the nearest council bins.
They will then be collected by the council / contracted waste disposal company once I've notified them (they're typically collected when the normal refuse waste collections do their rounds).
DO I NEED TO BRING ANYTHING?
I explain on all the event descriptions that all equipment is provided... this includes protective gloves, litter pickers and reusable rubbish sacks with hoops.
Hand sanitiser and first aid is also available.
The only thing(s) recommended you bring with you is a reusable drinks bottle and to bring appropriate items for the weather, such as sun cream / sun hat when it's hot, a rain coat for if it rains and warm layers when it's cold. But that's all common sense!
SIGN UP / REGISTERING YOUR ATTENDANCE
There are 3 ways to sign up and register your attendance for the beach cleans:
3) Email / Facebook Messenger.
I'd appreciate if you can notify of your attendance and if there's any additional people aiming to join you.
This is to ensure I bring enough equipment (litter pickers, bags & gloves) with me.
There's been a few times where people have turned up where only 1 person has registered and they've brought 4 other family members along, so as you can understand, if everyone did that, I can't guarantee there'll be enough equipment to go around.
Also, if you have RSVP'd as 'Going' and nearer the event you can't make it, please let me know.
This is just so I'm not waiting for you to arrive before I start the briefing, as you can imagine, it's not fair on those that have turned up and are waiting around.
ARE DOGS ALLOWED?
It depends which beach and the time of year... I advise looking up if the restrictions are in place before you attend an event.
Gorleston & Sea Palling are beaches where this rule is in place but Caister and Great Yarmouth as far as I'm aware doesn't have this ban in place.
Certain areas have restrictions between 1st May and 30th September where dogs aren't allowed on certain parts / sections of beach.
The rule is enforced by the council under the Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) and you can be fined £100 for disobeying the rule.
If restrictions are not in place, you can bring you dog along as long as they're well behaved and are kept on a lead.
Please also consider the safety of your dog (and marine wildlife) when it comes to seals resting on the beach.
Keep your dog(s) under control if there is a seal on the beach, leave it alone and keep your distance.
CAN MY COMPANY JOIN A PUBLIC BEACH CLEAN?
I've allowed this in the past, however this undermines the Corporate Beach Clean service I provide to companies.
And as this is one of the main sources of funding for Norfolk Beach Cleans, it makes sense to lay down some ground rules.
Therefore, a limit of 2 employees can attend a public beach clean event. And I'd prefer if you didn't wear company branded clothing.
Your company is welcome to sponsor an upcoming public beach clean, and up to 5 employees (wearing company branded clothing) are very welcome to join the sponsored event!
If your company / organisation wants to get a larger group of employees involved please get in contact to organise a private company event.
WHERE DO YOU BEACH CLEAN?
Mainly around the East Norfolk coast (Caister-On-Sea, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston-On-Sea) as I live in Caister-On-Sea, I like to keep it local and to reduce my carbon footprint where I can.
During the third lockdown at the beginning of 2021 the rule was to stay local and so I was doing solo clean-ups in my local area.
It wasn't until 23rd May when I hosted my first organised group beach clean.
I got to understand the local beaches, where the litter hotspots were and so I’ve continued group beach clean events in the same areas as they’re near and familiar to me.
On occasion I travel further round the Norfolk coast hosting beach cleans but my main focus has been on the East Norfolk beaches.
For example, West Norfolk (i.e. Hunstanton) is at least a 3.5 hours round trip for me from Caister, which would cost over £25 in fuel (at today's price's of £1.45 for Diesel).
Unfortunately I'm only one person, so I'm not able to cover every single beach in Norfolk...
This is something I do in my spare time or annual leave, which I only have so much of...
DO YOU DO REGULAR BEACH CLEANS?
Check out the list of upcoming events, there's usually at least 1 every weekend!
I work full time during the week, so most of the beach cleans I organise are on a weekend or on an evening after work (5pm onwards).
I try to make them as regular as possible and when I haven’t got plans or holiday.
In 2022, I started hosting a series of monthly beach cleans in a Caister (every second Saturday) & Gorleston (every first Sunday), although life, weather and sickness often changes these plans so it's not always worked out to be 'the first Sunday of the month' for example.
ARE YOUNG CHILDREN ALLOWED TO TAKE PART?
Yes, of course they are! There is no age restriction as it's not typically a difficult or dangerous activity...
The only condition I ask is that the child / children are supervised by an adult at all times.
Please be respectful of the equipment.
Even though the reusable bags are fairly robust, please don't drag them on the ground, even if it's soft sand or grass, the bags can and do end up with holes wearing in the bottom and need replacing, far too often than I'd like.
Don't use the litter pickers as a shovel to dig litter buried in the sand or use the litter pickers as walking sticks.
The gloves are also to be returned afterwards and put in the trolley (not in the box on the table), as I wash them after every use.
END OF THE EVENT
Please be back by the proposed finish time (usually 12pm).
When you arrive back, please ensure you tick yourself out on the 'sign out' column of the sing in/out sheet on the table.
This is so I know everyone has returned and is accounted for.