Royal Cornwall Farm & Country Day
in Wadebridge – 22/03/2017

Blog by Zillah Robertson

The Cornish Plastic Pollution Coalition were invited to attend this event and I was happy to offer my help with their stand for the day, alongside Delia from the Coalition and Jill from Clean Cornwall.

Fathoms Free are members of the Coalition along with 14 other Cornish Marine Conservation groups. Our friends from the Padstow Lobster Hatchery were also exhibiting.

The event attracted school children from all over Cornwall and the Pavilions were soon filled with excited children age 7 – 9 years of age. They were ushered around the different exhibits in small groups, accompanied by their teachers and parents.

The exhibits were varied and covered all things to do with farming and the countryside including, bee keeping, hedgehogs, food production, farm machinery, animal husbandry, lobsters and plastic pollution!

There were some weavers and one was making mats out of plastic carrier bags. Fascinating to see.

The children were intrigued by all the different plastic items on our stand. It looked very colourful and they listened attentively to Delia giving a small talk on helium balloons and plastic pollution.

We showed the children the ‘Appalling Multi -Coloured Balloon Coat’ with over 1,000 pieces of balloons attached to it. Quite a sight.

The children soon spotted the rubbery fish lures, a bucket of old lighters and one of sunglasses.

They all enjoyed playing with the different items and trying on the sunglasses.

As they had all been found on beaches they had to be cleaned and disinfected as Delia visits many schools and also does artwork with the children.

The children (and grown-ups) were fascinated to hear about the stricken ship The Tokyo Express that 20 years ago, lost 62 containers in a storm, one contained nearly 5 million pieces of Lego.

The Lego continues to wash up on our beaches today and is collected by many keen beach combers.

When Delia produced a Dragon and an Octopus from her pockets, the most sought after of the Lego spill, there were many dropped jaws!

By the afternoon some of the children were getting tired. It had been a busy and often noisy day, they had seen a lot and we hoped they went home having learnt something about plastic pollution and had been inspired to do a bit of beach cleaning themselves if given the opportunity. The adults had certainly learnt a thing or two!

We showed them how making small changes in their lives could make a big difference to the environment and help protect our marine life.