Berrow and Brean Beaches were given a deep clean on Thursday [28 June] as volunteers from Southern Co-op were out in force with Somerset Wildlife Trust.
The Somerset beach was the second of five to be overhauled as Southern Co-op have planned a series of beach cleans across the south as part of Co-operatives Fortnight.
The national awareness fortnight, aims to show how we can achieve more together than we can in isolation. It highlights how each person’s contribution, however small, helps towards achieving a bigger overall goal and a greater change for good.
Both colleagues and members of Southern Co-op joined in with the beach clean up and scoured the area for disregarded rubbish.
They collected a total of five bags of rubbish which weighed 13.8kgs.
Gemma Lacey, Director of Sustainability and Communications at Southern Co-op, said: “We always try and do something during Co-operatives Fortnight which makes a difference in our local community as well as promoting working co-operatively.
“We wanted to get involved in marine conversation and combat issues around plastics. There have been a lot of local concerns about rubbish along our shore lines so we thought this opportunity was perfect.
“It was a hot day but everyone battled on and collected everything from cigarette butts and lighters to sweet packets and a syringe. There was even mesh left behind and old barbeques.
“We encourage our colleagues to volunteer throughout the year and are very proud of everyone who took part this fortnight to make a difference to our local beach. We will also continue to raise awareness of the need to responsibly use and dispose of plastic items which will help to keep our beaches clean in the future.”
Through partnerships with The Wildlife Trusts and CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) Hampshire, Southern Co-op is creating opportunities for colleagues and members to get actively involved in protecting and promoting our local wildlife and countryside.
Wildlife Trusts across the south have been a key partner for Southern Co-op over the last ten years to help families get outside and explore their local wild neighbourhoods.
The Wildlife Trust is also a current campaign partner of the Southern Co-op’s community engagement programme ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’. This initiative addresses four key social themes for promoting: ‘Greener’, ‘Healthier’, ‘Safer’, and ‘More Inclusive’ neighbourhoods.
Somerset Wildlife Trust, said: “At this time of year, and in this weather, being on the beach is a fantastic way to boost our health and wellbeing, and gives us the chance to appreciate the brilliant wildlife that can be seen on our coastline. Seeing litter and rubbish on the beaches however can have the opposite effect, and can also have grave consequences for our bird and marine life. As well as not littering to begin with, we also all need to take responsibility for caring for our coast, and keeping these habitats clean and healthy for people and wildlife, so it is absolutely amazing that the Southern Co-op team have come together to do the beach clean to help do that.”
The five beach cleans planned for Co-op Fortnight are:
- Portishead on 27 June with Avon Wildlife Trust
- Hayling Island on 28 June with Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust
- Berrow and Brean Beaches in Burnham-On-Sea on 28 June with Somerset Wildlife Trust
- Bracklesham Bay on 11 July with Sussex Wildlife Trust
- And, Chesil Beach on 13 July with Dorset Wildlife Trust
Felicity Hay, Press and PR Officer, Southern Co-op
firstname.lastname@example.org / 02392 222995
Notes to Editors:
About Southern Co-op
Southern Co-op (southernco-op.co.uk) is a large, regional independent co-operative operating over 250 food and funeral branches across the south of England. Owned by its 165,000+ members, it has an annual turnover of over £430m and more than 4,000 colleagues.
Southern Co-op’s sustainable business approach underpins a commitment to providing a fair, fresh approach for all. This is manifested through fundraising for local charities, supporting environmental and community owned organisations and working with local food producers.