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Beach cleans and litter surveys

Hurst Spit beach clean by Amy MarsdenHurst Spit beach clean by Amy Marsden

Why do beach cleans and litter surveys?

Beach litter is not only unsightly and it is also a danger to wildlife and human health. Floating litter is often ingested by marine wildlife or can lead to entanglement and eventually death.

Plastic is non-biodegradable and so causes a particular problem – plastic litter has increased by 135% since 1994 and accounts for 64% of all rubbish found on UK beaches.

We carry out our beach cleans and litter surveys as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) Beachwatch Project. It's a great way help keep this beautiful section of shore tidy, while collecting valuable data on litter for MCS.

Combining a litter survey with the beach clean is essential in gathering important data on where the litter is coming from and how much of it there is.

Our September event at Hurst Spit is part of the MCS Great British Beach Clean and the International Coastal Clean Up so they’ll be hundreds of other similar events taking place across the UK and in 90 other countries on the same weekend.

What happens to all the data?

Survey information is passed to the MCS who use it to gather evidence of beach litter around our coasts. It’s used in their campaigns and in local, national and international lobbying to prevent litter reaching our beaches.

The Marine Conservation Society produce a great annual report each year which includes lots of interesting information about the litter collected across the country. The 2014 report is available from their Great British Beach Clean website.

When do we do our beach clean and litter survey?

Each beach clean and litter survey takes 1-2 hours.

LOCATION: Hurst Spit, near Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire.

MEETING POINT: Cut Bridge (map ref: SZ 299 908), where New Lane meets Saltgrass Lane.

OUR NEXT EVENT IS: Saturday 19th September 2015. 1-3pm as part of the MCS Great British Beach Clean.

BOOKING: It really helps us with our planning if you let us know you’ll be joining us. It also enables us to let you know in the unlikely event of us needing to cancel (e.g. due to poor weather). Information on how to book is below.

Up until the end of 2012 we carried out beach cleans and litter surveys at Hurst Spit four times a year. We regret that due to restraints in time and resources we are no longer able to do this. We hope that another individual or group with take up the organization of Beachwatch surveys at Hurst Spit to allow the quarterly events to be reinstated.

If you would like to find out more about how to organise the events, or to find out about other Beachwatch events taking place near you, please contact the Marine Conservation Society on 01989 566017, or have a look at their Beachwatch webpage

How do I get involved?

  • Please bring warm, waterproof clothing and some sturdy footwear. Everything else will be provided. No previous experience is necessary.
  • Please let us know you’re coming in advance if possible so we can ensure we have enough equipment for everyone.
  • To book a place contact Amy on or 01489 774444.
  • We occasionally need to change the date of the beach clean and litter survey at short notice due to unforeseen circumstances, so it is advisable to provide a mobile phone number on booking and/or contact the Trust a week before the event for confirmation of arrangements. 
  • If you’d like to help us spread the word of this beach clean to your local community, please download and display this poster.