Barbara and her quick beach clean

Barbara lives in Pevensey Bay. She enjoys the beach and decided to keep it clean for herself and others.  She shared her story with Helen Burton from Eastbourne Volunteers.

“Having just moved to Pevensey Bay in 2016, it was a dream come true to live by the sea. Nevertheless, walking with my dog on the beach, I could not help noticing the amount of plastic being washed up or left on the shore. Plastic bags, balloons, netting, bottles, bottle-tops, polystyrene food containers. If it was plastic, you name it, it was washed up on the beach. Even a sofa wa

s left by the bin near the beach!”

Why did you want to volunteer?

During one beach walk after a heavy storm, Barbara found huge white lumps of a waxy substance, which she later found out to be solidified palm oil which gets flushed out of ships tanks. It’s toxic to dogs and wildlife. Barbara decided to clear and safely dispose of it. “That day I decided this had to be addressed and put out a message on Facebook for local people to join in with beach cleaning. This led to the Pevensey Bay Litter Pickers group being formed.”

What happened next?
A group met for several clean ups, but the commitment to meet on a regular basis was not convenient for some people. However they continue to pick up the flotsam that is washed up as and when they can.

“It’s a very satisfactory micro-volunteering role that anyone can do when they have time – even in a couple of minutes!”

Barbara continues to clean the beach as she is out and about.  “I regularly walk Oscar on the beach, and once a beach cleaner always a beach cleaner, as you cannot walk by and ignore empty bottles or plastic bags, drink straws. I have images in my head of turtles swallowing plastic bags or birds caught in netting. As individuals I believe we all have a duty to dispose of our rubbish responsibly and not think that it is someone else’s problem.”