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Beach Litter Project

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Volunteers counting litter at Berwick Photo: Coast Care
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Volunteers at Beadnell Bay Photo: Coast Care

Project Summary

This year-long litter monitoring project was planned to assess the amount and type of litter on the beaches of the AONB and surrounding area.

Using a long-established methodology developed by the Marine Conservation Society, this survey was designed to replicate a similar study undertaken on the Northumberland Coast in 2007 allowing for a reasonably robust comaprison.

The project was funded by the Community Foundation through the Local Environmental Action Fund and was specifically supported by Muckle LLP, a leading law firm based in Newcastle. The project was delivered by our Coast Care volunteering initiative.

Litter is an increasing concern among scientists, conservationists and members of the public due to an increase in awareness of the devastating effect it can have on our marine environment. 

Litter on beaches is unsightly and offensive to beach users. Once in the sea, litter can cause direct death to marine creatures through ingestion or entanglement. A recent concern for environmentalists is the impact of chemical imbalances in the marine ecosystem caused by the breakdown of litter and the hazardous chemicals which they may contain.

Beach litter comes from a range of sources: directly from people using the coast, fishing from boats and the shore, washed down the rivers and from sewage outfalls.

A full report of the results of our 2017/18 beach litter survey which breaks litter down by type and source as well as for every beach can be downloaded here:

Turning the tide on beach litter report

Turning the tide on beach litter
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