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Volunteers needed to help turn the tide on littered beaches in Dorset

Beach clean at Worbarrow beach April 2013 © Mark Fisher

Dorset Wildlife Trust is inviting volunteers to a beach clean event at Wobarrow Bay on Saturday 15th September to try and combat the major litter problems affecting the area.   

Litter can be found on the beach at busy times of the year and during storms, and not only ruins the wonderful landscape of Dorset’s coast, but is potentially damaging to our precious marine environment.

Nets, fishing lines, plastic packing straps and other plastic items kill approximately 100,000 marine animals and 1 million seabirds every year around the world. Plastic pellets named nurdles and carrier bags are mistaken for food and swallowed, blocking digestive systems and causing starvation, especially to juvenile animals and birds.

There is concern for some of the unusual marine life visitors to Dorset beaches such ashuge sunfish and turtles as they can mistake floating plastic bags and balloons for jellyfish, which make up part of their diet. Most plastics can take several hundred years to break down. 

Dorset Wildlife Trust marine warden Melinda Fisher said: “Litter is an on-going problem and the next storm will bring a new wave of rubbish onto the shore. Everyone can help out by joining in with beach cleans held on local beaches throughout the year.”

As individuals, we can all do some other simple things to slow down this tide of rubbish such as re-using bags and bottles, recycling where possible, not releasing balloons or Chinese lanterns and taking litter home or disposing of it sensibly.

The beach clean at Worbarrow beach will take place on Sunday 15thSeptember at 10am and everyone is welcome.  For Worbarrow, please follow signs to the beach from Tyneham car park.  For more information please contact the Fine Foundation Marine Centre on 01929 481044 or Kimmeridge@dorsetwildlife.co.uk.

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