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Caring for our planet’s beaches

Beach stones

Today marks the last day of the Beachwatch Big Weekend, an annual event by the Marine Conservation Society that encourages people to go out and be part of the biggest beach clean-up in the UK. Even if you weren’t able to make it to this year’s event, it’s really important that we all do our bit throughout the year and make sure that beaches can be enjoyed for generations to come, both here in the UK and abroad.

Here are our top three tips for minimising your impact at the beach:

Take care on the dunes

Some beaches have a strip behind which is covered in a variety of sprawling plants. These are called dunes, and they are essential in preventing the beach from eroding, as the plants protect the sand from strong wind. However, some of these plants are very fragile so take care when walking over them. If you can avoid walking over the dune completely, then even better. Where possible, look out for purpose built paths and use them instead.

Beach Dunes

Take your rubbish with you

This might be an obvious one, but it’s always worth remembering. Rubbish left behind not only looks unsightly, it’s also highly dangerous and harmful to local wildlife. Wherever you are in the world, make sure you take any litter with you and dispose of it appropriately, or recycle it if you can.

Beach Litter

Do you need to take that shell home?

Shells can be a beautiful memento of your holiday, but some countries frown upon taking them away from the beach. Removing shells can take away some of the beauty of the beach at best, or do irreparable harm to the fragile ecosystem at worst. If you do find an absolutely stunning shell that you simply must have, then why not take a picture or draw a sketch of it instead? Some places are more stringent than others, so if you are in any way unsure then check with the local authorities.

Beach Shells

The beach is the ultimate symbol of a perfect holiday. If we all play our part and take care of our beaches today, then they will remain beautiful and be enjoyed by everyone for generations to come.

If you want to find out more about Beachwatch, then visit their official website at http://www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch/.

Images by Lali Masriera, notfrancois, Twentyfour Students and Karunakar Rayker via a creative commons license.    

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