Caring for our Coast

Our coastline is unique, following decades of mining on the Durham coastline nature is returning to our shores and seas. The Heritage Coast Partnership has been in place since 2003 and we strive to manage our coastal area and at the forefront of everything we do is listening and working with our coastal communities, people who live and work on the coast matter to us ­ a lot!

 

One of the Heritage Coast projects is to bring volunteers and the public together to undertake beach cleans in their local area. Last year we have been working with members of the public, organisations and schools and universities; we organised 91 beach cleans along the Durham Coast and collected an amazing 1930 bags of rubbish. We also collect important data for the Marine Conservation Society on the state of our beaches. We have been carrying on with beach cleaning throughout 2020 but on a smaller scale. Hopefully we will be able to return to our large public beach cleans in 2021. A big thank you to David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet’, a lot of people saw this BBC TV series and it prompted them to get involved!

 

Most of the beach litter we collect is plastic, usually plastic drinks bottles that have been left on the beach or have been washed up from rivers. During the summer months we do get a lot of litter left from visitors to the beach such as cans and bottles, food packaging, plastic cutlery and even dirty nappies!

 

Red Acre beach (often called the Old Beach) in Seaham is particularly bad for marine litter and ghost fishing material being washed up on the beach especially after a period of stormy weather.

 

Litter has a massive detrimental impact on the marine environment. Marine mammals often become entangled in fishing gear, along with fish they consume plastic which ends up in the food chain. Litter on beach is unattractive and broken glass and sharp objects are so dangerous to people, dogs and coastal birds. This litter needs to be removed from the beach before it’s washed back out to sea.

 

The volunteers who come out in the Seaham and Dawdon area, however long or short you come and help out for, are fantastic and we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been involved in some way with our beach cleans! So if YOU would like to get involved in future beach cleaning activities, please contact us.

 

Email : heritagecoast@durham.gov.uk

Tel : 03000 268131

Facebook – Durham Heritage Coast

 

Article from Seaham Today Autumn 2020 Newsletter, view the full magazine on our website.