Beach clean guidance
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Im thinking of organising a beach clean - what do I need to do?
If you are planning a beach clean, no matter the size, you should make sure that you are able to safely carry out the task. You'll need to make sure you consider the needs of people taking part, the area you plan to use and ensure that weather conditions are going to be suitable for the activity. Council permission is not always required, but if you are planning a large event you should contact email@example.com in advance to let us know your plans. You should also take steps to warn members of your group of the hazards at that location before you start your clean.
For some areas like the working fishing beach, or the beach east of groyne 1 at Rock-a-Nore it's not always possible to permit beach cleans because of the in-built dangers at those sites.
What equipment will I need?
You will need weather appropriate clothing, hand protection such as gloves and suitable footwear for walking on wet shingle and sand.
You will need bin bags or buckets for you to gather the items in. Its recommended that you use litter pickers where possible to avoid direct contact with the items.
It is recommended that you take a portable first aid kit with you and ensure that you have a phone so that you can call for help in the event of an emergency.
What should or shouldn't I touch?
Man-made items such as plastics, cans, clothing, fishing line can be removed from the beach and disposed of.
Natural debris such as vegetation, shells and driftwood must be left in place untouched.
Anything that you cannot identify should not be touched, palm oil for example can appear in a variety of forms, often resembling clumps of hardened fat and can be many colours - if you are unsure please report the sighting to firstname.lastname@example.org including a photo and location to enable removal.
You must not touch sharp items like glass, fishing hooks or needles, or biological waste including dog faeces, sanitary products or animal remains.
What should I do with what I have collected?
Where possible you should deposit any recyclable materials at the nearest recycling point.
Any non-recyclable waste should be properly disposed of within the nearest empty bin. Should you find the nearest bin full please do not leave the waste next to it as this usually results in seagulls shredding the bags and the items going back onto the beach or promenade.
What about insurance and risk assessments?
You should ensure that you have at least a basic risk assessment in place, and that you take steps to make sure you have appropriate insurance. Large groups carrying out organised beach cleans will need to provide evidence of their insurance.
What support do the Council provide?
Through our Foreshore team we maintain a small stock of beach cleaning equipment that can be lent out to support prearranged beach cleans. We'll also arrange a suitable location for you to leave your waste if you are collecting large amounts that won't fit into nearby bins.
We also have six 2minutebeachclean boards spaced along the seafront to encourage small-scale, spontaneous beach cleaning.
Other Useful Links:
Beach clean guidance