Berrow and Brean Beaches have been given a deep clean this week as volunteers from Southern Co-op were out in force with Somerset Wildlife Trust.

The beaches were the second of five to be cleaned as Southern Co-op has planned a series of beach cleans across the region as part of ‘Co-operatives Fortnight’.

The national awareness fortnight aims to show how people can achieve more together than in isolation. It highlights how each person’s contribution, however small, helps towards achieving a bigger overall goal and a greater change for good.

Staff and members of Southern Co-op joined in with the Berrow and Brean beach clean-up and scoured the area for disregarded rubbish. They collected a total of five bags of rubbish which weighed 13.8kgs.

Gemma Lacey, Director of Sustainability and Communications at Southern Co-op, said: “We always try and do something during Co-operatives Fortnight which makes a difference in our local community as well as promoting working co-operatively.”

“We wanted to get involved in marine conversation and combat issues around plastics. There have been a lot of local concerns about rubbish along our shore lines so we thought this opportunity was perfect.”

“It was a hot day but everyone battled on and collected everything from cigarette butts and lighters to sweet packets and a syringe. There was even mesh left behind and old barbecues.”

Through partnerships with The Wildlife Trusts and CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) Hampshire, Southern Co-op is creating opportunities for colleagues and members to get actively involved in protecting and promoting our local wildlife and countryside.

A Somerset Wildlife Trust spokesman added: “At this time of year, and in this weather, being on the beach is a fantastic way to boost our health and wellbeing, and gives us the chance to appreciate the brilliant wildlife that can be seen on our coastline. Seeing litter and rubbish on the beaches however can have the opposite effect, and can also have grave consequences for our bird and marine life.”

“As well as not littering to begin with, we also all need to take responsibility for caring for our coast, and keeping these habitats clean and healthy for people and wildlife, so it is absolutely amazing that the Southern Co-op team has come together to do the beach clean to help do that.”