Organisations and volunteers in Harlech beach clean-upgwirfoddolwyr yn glanhau traeth Harlech
Volunteers and a partnership of organisations came together recently to tackle litter on one of Wales’ most iconic beaches.
The litter-pick on Harlech beach was arranged by The Snowdonia Society – a local charity that works to protect and enhance the beauty and special qualities of Snowdonia. The event was planned to take place at the same time as the annual Great British Beach Clean Weekend, which is organised by the Marine Conservation Society each September.
Mary Williams, who is a conservation officer with the Snowdonia Society, said: “The day was a great success with 22 volunteers turning up to help – some coming from as far as Birmingham, and we also had someone walking on the beach come over and volunteer. It was a great day!
"It was interesting to note that there was very little rubbish on the main part of the beach. A sign at the car park encourages people to do a two-minute beach litter pick (#2minutebeachclean), so perhaps that's why. Thank you to all who pick up litter!
“Most of the rubbish we collected was fishing-related – nets, pots, fish boxes – that had come in on the tide."
The group’s first task was to conduct a litter survey on a 100m stretch of beach. This was done for the Marine Conservation Society, who feed the information into a worldwide annual survey of litter pollution along our coasts. The rest of the day was a general litter-pick with about a mile-and-a-half of beach cleaned by the volunteers.
Those helping on the day included staff from Natural Resources Wales, Snowdonia National Park and Gwynedd Council’s Maritime and Highways Departments.
Here are comments from some of the volunteers who took part in the litter-pick:
“We had a lovely day. My children thoroughly enjoyed it and want to do another one. Thank you for making it a good experience for them." Melanie, who came from Shrewsbury for the day with her family
"It was a pleasure to help out with the litter pick and to meet so many wonderful people who are passionate about our beaches and the environment." Karen.
Councillor Freya Bentham, the Gwynedd Council member for Harlech and Talsarnau, said: “The view from Harlech Castle of the dunes and beach with the backdrop of Snowdonia is one of the best in Wales, but as we’re at the northern end of Cardigan Bay we get a lot of plastics, fishing equipment and general sea-borne debris drifting along the coast with the currents.
“It’s great that the Snowdonia Society has got together with all the various partners to enable the volunteers to remove this rubbish off the beach. It’s been a fantastic effort and I commend all those who took part during the day for their brilliant efforts.”
Councillor Catrin Wager, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Municipal Services, said: “It’s great that volunteering is becoming more and more popular. I applaud the Snowdonia Society for getting everyone together to tackle the problem of marine litter on Harlech beach.
“This is another great example of partnership working to enable voluntary action to improve our local and global environments. Many thanks to all who took part.”
Anyone found guilty of littering in any public place could face a court summons and a fine of up to £2,500. To report any instances of fly-tipping, contact Gwynedd Council’s Street Enforcement Team on 01766 771000.
The Council’s Caru Gwynedd project receives funding from Keep Wales Tidy’s Caru Cymru initiative, which is financed by a Welsh Government grant. You can contact the Caru Gwynedd team on 01766 771000 or send an e-mail to CaruCymru@gwynedd.llyw.cymru
Photograph: Some of the volunteers