Beach cleans have been held in Burnham-On-Sea, Berrow and Brean to mark the Great British Beach Clean weekend.

An estuary wide clean up, the first of its kind, took place over four days from the 14th – 17th September.

Over 30 helpers took part in The Friends of Berrow Beach’s clean-up on Saturday 15th September, while the Friends of Burnham Beach event attracted dozens of helpers on Sunday afternoon. A third beach clean at Brean takes place at Brean Land Yacht Club at 2.30pm today (Monday September 17th).

Members of Litter Free Somerset and the Severn Estuary Partnership have been co-ordinating the first ever estuary beach clean and are highlighting all the different beach cleans going on all around the Severn estuary.

Lucy Taylor, Partnership Manager for SEP, says: “The estuary has so much to offer from recreational activities to improving well-being and sustaining livelihoods yet can often be taken for granted. A coordinated beach clean of this scale is an excellent example of community spirit and engagement with local issues.”

“Plastic and other litter which reside in and around the estuary can kill local wildlife, decrease water quality and end up in our food chain. 12.7 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year, which is equivalent to one bin lorry of plastic per minute.”

“This pollution is threatening to cause serious harm to the varied wildlife that is supported by the estuary including 74,000 wintering birds, more than 100 species of fish and vast amounts of invertebrates.2

“Over a million people live near the estuary’s shores, meaning it is especially vulnerable to pollution caused by people. This is why SEP is mobilising the man-power of the communities living around the estuary to come together and clean the whole coastline.”

“Not only will this beach clean reduce the current levels of litter residing in and around the estuary, but it will also have a lasting legacy by making connections between different individuals and community groups who may be unaware that regular beach cleans are already organised in their local villages or towns.”