Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Somerset's Beachwatch Big Weekend

 3rd Sep 2010

Brean Down for the Big Beachwatch WeekendPeople living near the Somerset coast are being urged to help protect marine wildlife and local beaches by taking part in the Beachwatch Big Weekend, which takes place September 18 to 19.  

The Beachwatch Big Weekend is part of a national beach clean and survey of waste organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS.) As well as cleaning up local beauty spots the data that participants collect will help the MCS tackle the problem of litter in the sea and on beaches. 

Protecting Local Wildlife

The Somerset Biodiversity Partnership is one of organisations helping to organise the events. Partnership Officer, Alison Slade, said: “The tide of litter is not just an unsightly blight on Somerset’s magnificent coastline. Plastic packaging and discarded fishing nets can injure, entangle and drown some of Britain’s favourite marine wildlife, including seals, dolphins and seabirds.

“The Beachwatch Big Weekend is an opportunity for local people to find out more about the unique wildlife which thrives on Somerset’s coast and to really make a difference.”

Find out more about how The Somerset Biodiversity Partnership is working to protect local wildlife.

When and Where

  • The events are taking place on:

Saturday 18 September from 9.30am at Brean Down beach
Sunday 19 September from 10am at Bossington beach, Minehead beach and Sand Bay, Weston-super-Mare.

  • Meeting points:

Brean Down - National Trust car park
Bossington beach ­- Holnicote Estate office
Minehead beach ­- beach car park opposite golf course
Sand Bay, Weston-super-Mare -­ beach car park

Guided Walks

There will be free rock pool rambles, and guided coastal walks are being offered by the National Trust at Brean Down and Porlock Marsh after the beach clean. 

Register Your Interest

Any age or level of fitness can undertake the surveys. Dogs are restricted on some beaches, so please check in advance. Bags and gloves will be provided.

Participants are encouraged to contact Alison Slade in advance at or on 01823 652409.

Media enquiries/further information:

Contact PR and communications manager Beth Jerrett on 01823-652413 or e-mail:

Notes to editors:

1. The Somerset Biodiversity Partnership is made up of Somerset Wildlife Trust, Somerset County Council, Natural England, the five district councils, Mendip, Taunton Deane, South Somerset, West Somerset and Sedgemoor, The Blackdown Hills AONB, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), RSPB, Quantock Hills AONB Service, Mendip Hills AONB Service, The National Trust, Somerset Environmental Records Centre, the Environment Agency, Exmoor National Park Authority, the Forestry Commission, the Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium, Wessex Water and Mendip Environment Forum.

2. Beachwatch is an annual UK-wide beach litter survey and clean-up, organised by the MCS.  Beachwatch is the flagship event of the Adopt-a-Beach scheme in which volunteers remove all the litter from a measured area of their local beach, recording every item they find.  The data gathered from Beachwatch every September is published by MCS in the Beachwatch Report.  This information is used at a national level to raise awareness of the impacts of litter on the sea.