Polzeath Marine Conservation Group were holding their annual Marine Awareness Day and we were delighted to be invited back.
Polzeath beach is stunning and always popular with surfers and other beach goers. When the tide is out, there is a long sandy beach, perfect for families. Fortunately just as last year, the weather was warm and sunny and with it being half term as well, we knew it was going to be a busy day.
Clare and myself set up our gazebo with help from the Polzeath group.
We were situated at the top of the beach next to The Your Shore Beach Rangers gazebo. Other groups at the event were our friends from The Cornwall Seal Group, The National Trust, British Divers Marine Life Rescue and Surfers Against Sewage. It’s always good to see familiar faces all working with the same objectives, to protect our wonderful Cornish coastline and its wildlife.
The beach became busy, very quickly. The car park adjacent to us soon filled up. There was a colourful montage of wind breakers across the sand with dozens of black silhouettes in the surf as far as the eye could see. I don’t think I’ve seen such a busy beach as Polzeath.
Many families walked passed our stands on their way to the beach. All of the stands were colourful to look at and all offered something different relating to marine conservation, plastic pollution and marine life rescue.
There was lots for the kids to get involved with during the day.
There was a giant sand castle competition, rock pool ramble, beach clean, craft sessions at the marine centre and the RNLI display.
Clare and myself chatted with many families during the day, most of them on holiday, from all over the country. It was good to hear a lot of people had some awareness of the problem of marine litter. Some were already doing their bit to clean up the beaches and reducing their own plastic use. We hope others went away with something to think about. We did get a lot of positive feedback regarding our dives for debris and possibly some new volunteers which is always good!
I have to say I was impressed with my takeaway chips and mushy peas from the nearby restaurant …..not only were they delicious but it all came in paper with a wooden fork, no plastic in sight. I should have known the Polzeath group wouldn’t be happy with polystyrene boxes and plastic forks!
Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how many bins you provide, people will still leave litter lying around. The businesses, particularly those by the sea and waterways, who have reduced the sale of single use plastics have to be commended. Well done to them.
We were kept well hydrated with free cups of tea and cake from the marine centre. Thank you to the Polzeath Marine Conservation Group for looking after us so well.
See you next year!