ORGANISERS are hoping for a record Great Dorset Beach Clean turnout to help the coast recover from this winter’s relentless storms.
More than 900 volunteers gave up their free time last spring, filling almost 700 bags of rubbish from 24 Dorset beaches.
However, this year Dorset County Council’s senior coastal ranger Jenny Penney says more people than ever are needed “because we’ve had so much debris following the stormy weather”.
The conservation event, taking part on Sunday, April 27, includes 25 Dorset beaches.
Meanwhile, a separate Big Beach Clean-up initiative, organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), includes an additional three beaches in the Bournemouth Daily Echo area.
Jenny said: “It’s really quite a shame that we still have to do this after so long, it’s our 26th year now.
“We are still having to clear up quite a lot of plastic, bottles in particular that have been discarded.
“This year we’ve had added problems because of the storms – lots more debris has been dredged up and dumped higher on the beaches.
“Instead of just clearing the beaches we have to clear the scrub at the top of them as well.”
Anyone can volunteer to help on the Great Dorset Beach Clean, which is organised by the county council.
A County Hall spokesman explained: “All equipment will be provided so all you need to do is bring your friends.
“An incredible 923 people took part in the Great Dorset Beach Clean 2013.
“That’s over 300 more volunteers than 2012’s event.
“There were a few odd items found among the everyday litter, including a giant fishing aerial, a 25-litre container of sump oil, a large horseshoe flotation device, an empty cash box from a car park ticket machine, an inflatable dingy and a homemade trolley.”
Beaches at Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Swanage and further along the Purbeck coast are included this year.
Visit dorsetforyou.com for details of how to take part in the Great Dorset Beach Clean.
For information on the MCS’s Big Beach Clean-up, visit mcsuk.org