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Great British Beach Cleans

Friday 07 September 2018

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Great British Beach Cleans

We want you to get involved in a Great British Beach Clean this year to save the lives of wildlife and help get our shorelines back to their litter-free glory days. The busy beaches that just a few weeks ago were full of people enjoying the summer sunshine are beginning to empty. The sand is now bare, apart from the forgotten coffee cups, sticky ice cream wrappers and that plastic bag that blew away in the wind.

Everyone is leaving the UK’s beaches, but they haven’t taken their rubbish with them, and this is having a detrimental effect on our environment. Buy Advance tickets to various coastal destinations across the UK to take part in a Great British Beach Clean. 

Why Does Litter Make Such a Mess?

Plastic found on our beaches can be consumed by animals or washed back into the ocean and harm marine life. According to Ocean Crusader’s Plastic Statistics, one million seabirds and 100,000 mammals die a year because of marine plastic. By doing our bit and picking up the rubbish left on our beautiful beaches, we can help reduce the chance of this happening.

A seal on a British beach stuck in a fishing net is one of the reasons the Great British Beach Clean Up began

Getting involved in a Beach Clean is also a great way to raise awareness about the damage plastic can do. You have the power to educate and influence others to want to get involved in helping save our environment. Passers-by who see what you’re doing will want to know what’s going on and if you post your experience on social media, friends and family will hopefully be inspired to do the same. By promoting beach cleans and educating others, we can hopefully come together and prevent the issue continuing.

We’ve all seen programmes like Blue Planet which document the concerns for our world’s beaches and oceans. We’ve also seen an increased commitment from both the government and businesses to reduce the amount of plastic we use in the UK - think keep cups and reusable straws! So, there’s never been a better time to do your bit. Plus, with so many likeminded people coming together, you’re sure to make a friend or two!

The Great British Beach Clean sees groups of people picking up litter on the beach

What is a Great British Beach Clean?

The Great British Beach Clean is taking place across the UK, from 14-17 September. Last year, almost 7,000 people took part in helping to remove plastic from our seaside and this year the organisers, Marine Conservation Society, are hoping for even more participants! The event helps remove harmful litter from the shoreline, while recording information on what and how much litter is found.

Information on litter that has been provided from events like this one in the past has brought in initiatives like the 5p carrier bag charge and companies switching back from plastic to paper cotton buds. So, not only will your work reduce rubbish right away, but it could also help mould our future.

How Can You Get Involved in a Great British Beach Clean?

We’ve done some research and found the best Great British Beach Clean events that you can take the train to!

Town: Dundee, Scotland

Beach: RNLI Beach Broughty Ferry

Date & Time: Friday 14 September 2018, 3:15pm - 4:30pm

Meeting Location: Lifeboat shelter

Getting there: From Dundee Station, you can take the number 5 or 10 bus from Caird Hall to Queen Street. The bus takes 20 minutes and from Queen Street, you are a 4-minute walk from the meeting point for the Beach Clean.

Town: Torquay, Devon

Beach: Beacon Cove

Date & Time: Saturday 15 September, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Meeting Location: Beacon Cove

Getting there: From Torquay Station, you can either walk to Beacon Cove in under half an hour. Or, there are several buses which will take you to the meeting point in just over 15 minutes.

Town: Edinburgh, Scotland

Beach: Wardie Bay Beach

Date & Time: Sunday 16 September 2018, 11:00am - 1:30pm

Meeting Location: Granton Harbour breakwater under the flags

Getting there: From Edinburgh Waverly Station, you should make your way to Princes Street just outside. From here, you can take several direct buses to near Granton Harbour. Let the bus driver know where you’re going, and he can tell you which stop to get off and point you in the right direction.

Choosing to stay in Edinburgh for the night? Check out our handy Edinburgh destination guide for all the best thing to see and do.

Town: Plymouth, Devon

Beach: Wembury

Date & Time: Sunday 16 September 2018, 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Meeting Location: Wembury Beach Marine Centre

Getting there: From Plymouth Station, walk to Royal Parade (Stop A10) and jump on the number 48 bus to Hawthorn Drive. The bus will take around 30 minutes and once you exit at Hawthorn Drive, you are just a short walk from the meeting point.

Plymouth is a great city to visit, check out our Plymouth destination guide to find out what else you can do whilst you’re there.

A plastic bottle and plastic bag lay discarded on sand during a Great British Beach Clean

What If I Can’t Make a Great British Beach Clean?

If you can’t make one of the Great British Beach Clean events above, don’t fret! There are loads of smaller events organised throughout the year, so have a look online and see what takes your fancy. Alternatively, why not take matters into your own hands and organise a personal Beach Clean? Hop on a train to a British seaside destination, pack a big bag and take a walk along the beach, picking up plastic as you go.

Take a look at our route map to see where we can take you and book your CrossCountry Advance train tickets to your chosen destination!

A group of people put litter in a big bin bag during the Great British Beach Clean

Check out our top tips for organising your own beach clean:

  • Go with your family or a group of friends – large groups can be difficult to manage, so if it’s your first time organising a beach clean, stick to a smaller group to start with.
  • Make sure you know where your nearest recycling centre is, so you can ensure the plastic you collect is disposed of correctly.
  • Hard-wearing gloves should be worn by all plastic pickers – you may find the odd bit of glass or sharp object while cleaning the beach.
  • Use durable bags to collect your litter, you don’t want a bin liner full of rubbish to split on the beach and undo all your hard work!
  • Remember to have fun. Get some tunes pumping as you stroll the shoreline and pack a picnic to enjoy on your newly cleaned beach - remember to take your litter with you though!

With CrossCountry, you can purchase a ticket to anywhere in Britain, including lots of seaside destinations. Make sure you take advantage of great savings with CrossCountry Advance train tickets.

Written by Julia

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