Trip reports

RSPB Medway Local Group's Thames Side Big Plastic Clean-up

RSPB Medway Local Group's Thames Side Big Plastic Clean-up
Volunteers - RSPB Cliffe Pools Car Park [David Saunders]

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Taken from DR Hoo's RSPB Northward Hill Blog

Yesterday was the second of the year's attempts to remove plastic from the foreshore tide-line on the North Kent Marshes. We more or less covered the same area from Redham Mead to Lower Hope Point. However, this time the difference was we were aiming for the smaller stuff more fiddly, more difficult, more everything really, but in many ways more important as the smaller the particles the more the environmental impact now. Of course, two litre bottles will break down in time to become micro-particles - but one job at a time - the problem is so huge that only so much can be tackled.

On a positive note, 37 volunteers attended the briefing given by me and Belinda Lamb of The Guardians of the Deep, at 1.30pm for a 2.00 start, by that time we were out there and raring to go as they say. Last time 80 people filled a huge skip, this time was always going to be different. The visible impact was never going to be the same. Picking up bottles and large pieces of plastic will always make a more obvious difference. What the volunteers took home was the need to educate others into putting only pee, poo and paper into the toilet.

This particular venue is massively difficult to clear, logistically and geographically, so I will personally thank all the volunteers new and old. We may have only collected in volume a third of last time but in terms of impact this may be even greater.

My thanks as ever to Norse, Medway Council and Guardians of the Deep for their equipment and support also RSPB Medway Local Group, The Port of London Authority (Estates and Environment depts) Natural England and RSPB, North Kent Marshes, RSPB Northward Hill staff, Katie Thatcher, Julian Nash, Will Tofts, Ruby Merriman and Ruth Gillies.