Helen Dugdale

18 July 2020

How to keep our beaches tidy

I love the beach! The beach is my happy place and I was lucky enough to grow up in Southport with the smell of the sea and the wind tangling my hair. Although not rugged and cliff edged, there are miles and miles of beach on the North West Coast. Miles and miles of sand and sandhills for making sandcastles, climbing over and rolling down. Our family holidays were normally in South Wales or Cornwall with cliffs, rockpools, caves and ruggedness galore. It was the best of both worlds. When I lived in London for 11 years I missed the sea and the beach dreadfully. I returned to the North West with its invigorating Irish Sea breeze and settled in Liverpool. Crosby, Formby and Southport are my local beaches once more.

© Jude Lennon

Over the years it has saddened me that these wonderful places are becoming increasingly full of litter and plastic. And when my sister in law told me about attending a Beach Clean at Formby and finding a whole picnic buried in a towel, I knew I had to do something. My book 'That's Our Home!' was a direct response to this.

Children are brilliant at spreading important messages and often grown-ups listen more carefully to children than they do to other adults. Hoping that my three characters Starfish, Crab and Seagull would enlist the children's support I set about writing a story with keeping our beaches clean at the core.

Although the book focuses on beaches, the messages could just as easily apply to any of our wonderful outdoor spaces. Woodland, parks, fields, hill tops, beaches or lakesides, they all need to be kept clean for everyone.

There are some top tips mentioned in the back of the book for how to reduce waste on our beaches. Here are my top three.

1. Use refillable water bottles instead of plastic ones.

2. Use a lunch box or reusable sandwich wraps to cut down on cling film and foil.

3. If you can carry it there, you can carry it home. If the bins are full please take your rubbish away with you.

You could also get involved with local litter pick groups. They are always happy to welcome new volunteers.

Don't forget to enter our competition to win a copy of That's Our Home.