Beach blitz group to keep Lyme Regis seafront clean

Bournemouth Echo: A jam-packed Lyme Regis seafront earlier this year. Picture by Richard Horobin. A jam-packed Lyme Regis seafront earlier this year. Picture by Richard Horobin.

A NEW 'BeachCare' group will be set up to try and combat litter and rubbish blighting Lyme Regis seafront.

During the summer season, rubbish left behind by beachgoers is a continual problem and can also affect the bathing water quality of the sea, which can have a detrimental effect on the town's tourism.

Now, following similar successful campaigns throughout the country, the 'Litter Free Coast and Sea' group will invite both locals and tourists to join a new volunteer group that will tackle the litter that is left behind on beaches, to help make them more attractice and help to improve the bathing water quality of the beaches.

Matilda Bark, the campaign's local co-ordinator, said: "I am very excited to get the group up and running as I have seen how successful other BeachCare groups have been in Cornwall and Blackpool.

"Lyme Regis residents are passionate about their beautiful beaches and I am confident that we can form a strong and effective community BeachCare group here.

"We had the love Lyme beaches event back in March and that was really successful and people said they wanted to do it more frequently, so that was the starting point for this group.

"Litter on beaches is a problem all around the coast at every beach but the beaches in Lyme actually are not that bad, we just want to keep them as clean as possible."

The campaign is being co-ordinated by the 'Litter Free Coast and Sea' group, in partnership with the Dorset Coast Forum and the 'Keep Britain Tidy' charity, and Miss Bark said the clean-ups would be an enjoyable social event as well.

She added: "The other beach cleans around the country have worked really well and there has been a lot of good feedback.

"The team that do it in Cornwall often meet up and will soon be having mulled wine on the beach soon, and they also make recycled art out of the litter they collect.

"Cleaning is quite a social event as well and we will all be chatting as we are cleaning.

"While the work that the group does will be invaluable for the local businesses, tourism and the environment, the most important thing is that everyone has fun and enjoys themselves."

Doug Goodman, a local travel and tourism expert, said he fully supported the initiative.

Mr Goodman said: “I think it's a brilliant idea and I want to be a part of it. I think it also reflects the pride people in Lyme Regis have for their beaches and it can only help attract more to the town if visitors know the beach is kept clean regularly.

“Litter left behind by visitors is a very negative thing and visitors to the resort might think litter is left by local people, which will put them off returning, and even though the beaches are well cared for already, this is another great step forward to improve the image of Lyme Regis.”

The group will first meet on Sunday, December 15 between 10am and 2pm, at Aroma Cafe on Bridge Street. It will be an informal get together and will plan how often they would like to meet up and what issues they would like to tackle together, before embarking on their maiden clean.

To join the group, contact 01305 221752, email m.bark@dorsetcc.gov.uk or follow them on Twitter @LitterFreeCoast or join the 'Love Lyme's Beaches BeachCare' group on Facebook.

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