By Emily and Rob Stevenson, Beach Guardian
The highest point on a beach where the tide reaches is called the strandline. This is where the waves leave behind items such as seaweed, dead plants, dead animals and, unfortunately, plastics. Several strandlines can occur on every beach due to changes in the height of the tides.
When you are doing a beach clean, you do so at your own risk so stay safe. Be careful of slippery, seaweed-covered rocks.
Supervise children and make sure they don’t pick up sharp items, animal faeces or dead animals. Make sure children do not go to the water’s edge or climb on cliffs.
Always plan an escape route if you are working under cliffs and be wary of rock falls.
Make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you plan to be back.
Be aware of the tide and don’t allow yourself to get cut off. Use an online tracking tool such as www.tide-forecast.com
Wear protective gloves or use a litter picker. If you can’t, wash your hands afterwards and take hand sanitiser with you. Old needles must be handled carefully and disposed of properly. A doctor’s surgery or hospital is the best place.
Do not pick up anything organic as it’s important for the local wildlife. For example, seaweed on the beach is a habitat for small invertebrates.
If you find a sea bird or marine mammal in peril please report it. In the UK contact the Marine Strandings Network on 0345 2012 626. If the animal is still alive please report it to The British Divers Marine Life Rescue on 01825 765546.
If you find ordnance (old shells or bullets) call the Coastguard immediately by dialling 999.
If you find what you suspect to be dangerous chemicals or substances leave them alone. Call the Coastguard immediately by dialling 999.
Please dispose of anything you collect through local recycling facilities. Consider how it might be used to educate and inspire younger people. We are also responsible for our use of plastics and the care of our beaches.
Emily and Rob Stevenson
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