Talking about beach cleaning with Kate Whitton of the MCS

Hi, I’m Kate and I love beach cleaning! I beach clean for the Marine Conservation Society and I love to beach clean with anyone and everyone.

I’ve cleaned beaches all over the South East from Aldeburgh in Suffolk to Chalkwell in Essex , Whitstable in Kent all the way down to Sussex and the Solent and beyond to Bournemouth. The coastline around these areas is fantastic and no 2 beaches are ever alike.

Why do I beach clean? The answer is twofold – to meet so many great and passionate people and beach clean with like-minded souls and to help rid our beaches and marine habitats from the many kinds of pollution and litter that seems to be so widespread these days. I never tire of being on a beach. To me it is freedom, it’s the connection to an ever changing landscape as no day at a beach is ever the same. Being in the fresh air, on a beach, looking at the expansiveness of the ocean makes me so happy as I’m out, in nature, in the real world. It’s a very deep emotion, wanting to make sure our coastline and ultimately our planet, stays healthy. Beach cleaning is one of the ways in which I help.

I have lots of amazing and memorable beach cleaning moments but one that really sticks in my head was down at Bournemouth where a young lady of around 7 years old decided that she was going to collect cigarette butts from the beach clean as they are so toxic to wildlife. In just over 2 hours she collected 2,000 cigarette ends. Her dedication to collecting every fragment of cigarette was really touching and made such a difference.

In just over 2 hours this 7 year old girl had collected 2,000 cigarette ends. Her dedication was really touching and made such a difference.

Kate Whitton, Marine Conservation Society

One of my favourite beach cleaning locations is Southsea. I love the sheer size of the beach and the top of the beach is covered with lots of plantlife – vegetated shingle- which is so special. It means you get to explore a great seashore safari on the lower part of the beach and at the top of the beach in the summer you can be greeted by butterflies, birds and bees amongst the vegetation. Absolutely fantastic!