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Volunteers reach milestone in efforts to Clear The Bay of litter

Over the last two years, community volunteers have collected an astonishing 34 tonnes of litter and cleared 2790km of coastline, trails, cycle paths and footpaths across Morecambe Bay.

Local charity, Morecambe Bay Partnership, is celebrating the efforts of hard-working volunteers as part of its ‘Clear The Bay By Day’ project.

The Clear The Bay By Day project won funding in 2020 from the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) in an international competition to rid plastic from its shores and secured over 8000 public votes and won the EOCA members’ vote. Conceived by Morecambe Bay Partnership in the depths of Covid lockdowns, the project sought to mobilise a growing army of volunteers to rid Morecambe Bay’s beaches, footpaths and cycleways of plastic waste and also the pandemic of discarded masks and PPE. The funding has supported hundreds of volunteers, established new community litter picking groups, community events, messaging campaigns, and worked with outdoor events companies to develop a plastic-free approach to large scale, high profile events.

The project has also offered important wellbeing and community benefits. One volunteer, Duncan, values the sense of belonging to something bigger saying there’s “a great sense of community and a feel-good factor about how I'm doing something useful with my time while enjoying the great outdoors.”

Others feel more connected to the outdoors. Regular litter picking volunteer, Juliet, says “I enjoy being near water & helping to keep the natural beautiful coastline clean for others to enjoy. Being outdoors lifts the spirits &helps you learn to respect nature. Like-minded people make it fun & friendly - and fresh air is free!”

Lauren Munro-Bennett, Beach Care Officer for the Charity, says: “What our volunteers have achieved over the last two years has been incredible, especially during the height of the pandemic. We simply wouldn’t have been able to clear this huge amount of litter without them. Together we have also been working to understand where the litter is coming from to try and preventing it from ending up around our coast in the first place.”

Morecambe Bay Partnership is offering many ways to get involved in this important work.

You can be inspired by inspirational Ocean clean-up campaigner Cal Major at an evening talk on 29th November, get involved in a beach clean or litter pick as a volunteer, or, if you can’t volunteer, you can make a donation towards this important work.

All details are on www.morecambebay.org.uk

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