Local initiative sets agenda for wildlife-friendly beach cleans
A guide to making beach litter-picks more friendly to nature has been launched in a collaboration between local wildlife organisations and beach cleaning groups.
The initiative, led by Bird Aware Solent, aims to make people more aware of potential disturbance to wildlife when they remove litter from the beach.
Litter-picking drives are becoming more popular along the south coast with local people inspired to give up their free time to keep their neighbourhood coastline clean and tidy. The new guidelines ensure these community-minded projects minimise disturbance to wildlife that makes its home on the beach.
The wildlife-friendly beach clean guide is available to download from the Bird Aware Solent website at www.birdaware.org as well as from the other organisations involved in the project: Final Straw Foundation, Marine Conservation Society and the 2 Minute Foundation.
Anna Parry, Bird Aware Solent’s partnership manager, said: ‘We’re grateful to those who give their time to remove litter from our coastline. These new guidelines will ensure disturbance to our wonderful birds and other wildlife is kept to a minimum.’
Packed with tips and advice about taking part in beach litter picking events, the guide provides insight into unexpected spots where wildlife might be hidden such as within abandoned tyres and old pallets. It also highlights important feeding area for birds, such as the high-water line, to make sure disturbance is minimised. Special mention is also made about seals which can be particularly vulnerable to human presence.
Above all, people taking part in beach cleans are encouraged to follow the nature-friendly coastal code: look out for wildlife; move further away if birds or other wildlife become alert to your presence; keep dogs alongside you; and follow request on signs.