The Big Channel Islands Beach Clean is back for 2021, taking place 12th-14th of February across Alderney, Guernsey, Herm, Jersey and Sark. The event is being organised by local environment groups; Alderney Wildlife Trust, The Clean Earth Trust, Little Feet Environmental (Jersey) and The National Trust for Jersey.
Following the success of last year's event which saw 180 volunteers from across the islands collect 340kg of litter, organisers thought it would be something both beneficial and community spirited to continue again this year, albeit socially distanced (see Recreational Activities | States of Guernsey - COVID-19 (gov.gg) for the latest guidance).
"Plastic, thread-like debris is routinely used by Alderney's seabirds as nesting material. 20 gannets were recorded as killed last year due to injury and starvation caused by prolonged entanglement in plastic waste, though many more will have gone unrecorded. A heart-breaking sight to witness. Let's do what we can to minimize this suffering and keep our beaches safe for wildlife," explains Lorna West, Outreach Officer for Alderney Wildlife Trust.
Participants in The BIG (socially distanced) Channel Islands Beach Clean can beach clean for one, two or three days in a row. To take part:
Choose a beach.
Record what you find - Date, island and name of beach - A list of what you found / interesting finds - How many people participated in your household - Approx. weight in kgs - Photo of your marine debris
Send your information to your corresponding group - Alderney: The Alderney Wildlife Trust / firstname.lastname@example.org - Guernsey and Herm: The Clean Earth Trust / email@example.com - Sark: Shakira Christodoulou / firstname.lastname@example.org
"Beach cleaning is not only hugely beneficial to the environment and its habituating wildlife but a great opportunity to get outdoors, stretch your legs and take in some fresh air. After the recent stormy weather the coastline is heavily littered with debris, especially in the seaweed lines, and we are hoping people will consider taking part in some beach cleaning as their two hours of exercise time," explains Helen Quin, Community Engagement at The Clean Earth Trust.
Should you choose to participate in the Big Channel Islands Beach Clean, you must adhere to your respective government’s guidelines regarding COVID-19 and ensure that you have appropriate PPE where required (gloves to be worn if collecting litter by hand). Please note hazardous waste should not be touched but reported to your local environment group, as well as large items that cannot be disposed of via public bins or your home waste and recycling scheme. For those participating in Guernsey and in Alderney, a limited number of litter picking kits can be borrowed from The Clean Earth Trust or The Alderney Wildlife Trust, please contact the team to book.