British Canoeing has joined forces with Surfers Against Sewage in a bid to tackle plastics and litter along the British coastline and inland waterways, for the annual Autumn Beach Clean Series.
This year the week of action will be renamed Autumn Beach and River Cleans and will take place from 20-28th October.
The Autumn Beach Clean has been running in its current guise since 2011. Due to its position as Autumn becomes Winter, the ABC has always been a more ‘hard core’ event than its Spring-time counterpart; the weather turns, the storms begin and the tourists have gone home. Since its inception the Project has seen 932 beach cleans organised across the UK, the mobilisation of 28,795 intrepid volunteers and the removal of 78,378kg of marine plastic pollution (the equivalent of over 19,500 bin bags).
Ben Hewitt, Director of Projects and Campaigns at SAS, said: “The Autumn Beach Clean has long been a staple of every beach cleaner’s diary. With this year’s partnership with British Canoeing we are excited to be able to take this project further inland and really being to tackle the problem at source. Through our overarching campaign Plastic Free Communities, we are able to make the link between terrestrial and coastal areas and raise awareness on how the two are linked.”
British Canoeing members who wish to run a clean up during the week can register their interest online. Clubs who commit to hosting an annual river clean will be provided with a river clean up pack with equipment and guidance, supported by the Canoe Foundation.
Ben Seal, Places to Paddle Manager at British Canoeing, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Surfers Against Sewage, one of the nation’s leading marine environmental campaigners on their Autumn Clean Up series.
“Later this year we will be launching our Access and Environmental Charter. A key part of this is about how we continue to act to protect and improve the health of our rivers, coordinating national campaigns and promoting opportunities for paddlers to engage with the natural environment.
“Many of our members are incredibly committed to looking after their local waterways and we hope they will join us during October half term for a week of action to clean up our waterways and coastlines, from source to sea.”