Big Beach Clean at Weston-super-Mare

Issue date: 24 February 2009

University of the West of England Saturday 28 February 2009 10.30 to 15:30

For the third year running, to celebrate the culmination of Student Volunteering Week, the University of the West of England is joining forces with the Beach Ranger Service and the Marine Conservation Society to spring clean Weston-super-Mare beach.

Around 60 students from the UWE will convene on Weston-super-Mare beach on Saturday 28 February from 10.30 until 15.30.

Jo Earl from the UWE Community Volunteer Programme, said, “I think this is a great volunteering opportunity for students who may have never tried volunteering before and yet it has a massive impact. The beach clean rounds off Student Volunteering Week, where we will be promoting other easy ways to get involved in volunteering and make a difference. It's all about celebrating and encouraging volunteering.

“It is really more than aesthetic litter picking; the rubbish left by people visiting the beach can have disastrous consequences for marine life. We will clear the beach from Royal Sands Car Park and along the edge of the golf course. There is a lot of litter that gathers in the dunes that is not cleared by the mechanical cleaning of the main beach. The beach clean is really popular with international students, who get the chance to visit Weston, a historical seaside town, and make a difference to the coastal heritage site at the same time! It also gives a chance to get our students out and volunteering further afield.”

Adrian Eppel, a third year International Relations student from UWE who is taking part, said, “I love going to the beach and it's always better if the beach is clean so I'm happy to take part. I think it will be fun to do some volunteering with other people so really its great to combine having fun with doing some good. This is the first time that I have done volunteering and I'm looking forward to it.”

Richard Spindler, a Beach Ranger for Weston- super- Mare Beach said, “The Big Beach Clean is a great help to us. We do have cleaners but they can't reach everything and the volunteers help us make the beach so much better for residents and holiday makers. It also helps us to gain a coveted Quality Court Award each year. A big thank you to UWE for organising this.”

Dr Sue Kinsey from the Marine Conservation Society, said, “The work the students do is wonderful. Not only do they clean up litter, they also help us out with a local litter survey as part of a national campaign. The more data we can get together the better chance we have of influencing policy makers. The Beach Clean also helps us raise awareness amongst the public in the hope that people will change habits and think before they throw away rubbish.”

Councillor Elfan Ap Rees (Deputy Leader, North Somerset Council) said, “This is a great opportunity for students to get involved in volunteering and to understand more about the ecological and environmental issues surrounding our coastline.”

Jo Earl continues, “The Big Beach Clean is just one of many events held throughout the year under the banner of UWE 'Community Action Days'. This year UWE volunteers have been involved in helping various organisations with tree planting, hedge-laying, serving a charity Christmas meal and helping to clear up at Tyntesfield house.”

Editor's notes

Student Volunteering Week (23 February – 1 March)

The week is a chance to raise the national profile of student volunteers by promoting and celebrating what they do. Around the country universities and colleges put on special events and volunteering projects to reward current volunteers and recruit new ones!

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