'Take it home' plea as campaign begins for cleaner beaches in Skegness

A campaign is being launched to clean up Skegness after concerns were raised about rubbish piling up over the summer.

A beach clean is to be held in memory of Paul Marshall, who led volunteers in collecting rubbish at many events over the years.
A beach clean is to be held in memory of Paul Marshall, who led volunteers in collecting rubbish at many events over the years.

The problem was highlighted ahead of next weekend’s Great British Beach Clean, which will see volunteers removing rubbish left on the beach .

In a letter to Skegness Town Council from a volunteer from Plastic Free Sleaford, who visited the resort, the situartion was described as ‘soul destroying’.

"I visited Skegness with the purpose of litter picking on the beach,” the letter said. “I was shocked by the amount of single use plastics we found – straws, cups, nets from seaside toys, and baby wet wipes.

"In the short distance from the lifeguard hut to the pier we collected over five bags of rubbish destined for the sea.

"I am certain you are aware about the damage and extent of pollution plastic is causing our seas and oceans.

"As a seaside resort you need to lead the way on reducing single use plastics and keeping the beach clean for the safety of wildlife and visitors.

"Imagine a year from now welcoming visitors to Plastic Free Skegness.”

Coun Steve Kirk, ELDC Portfolio Holder for the Coastal Economy, as well as town councillor, said it had been a particularly difficult year for the street team due to staff shortages and Covid illness.

"In spite of this they have been out at 5am cleaning the beach and then emptying the beach during the day.

"What we need is a combined campaign – let’s make leaving litter unacceptable. We need ‘Take it Home’ posters to get the message out there.”

Coun Mark Anderson called for more enforcement if anyone is seen dropping litter. “People are leaving nappies on the beach which is appalling.

"It’s a sad reflection of people that this disgusting behaviour is happening.”

Coun Mark Dannatt said one of the problems was that the bins are inadequate. “They are just not wide enough.

"The new chip boxes are too big. We need to let East Lindsey know the bins are inadequate.”

Councillors agreed to hold a meeting with East Lindsey to discuss the problems and what needs to be done.

In the meantime, residents can help clear rubbish at the Great British Beach Clean in Skegness on Saturday, September 17.

The event is being organised by Coastal Access for All (Cafa) in memory of the group’s founder Paul Marshall, who died in January.

“Our March beach clean was poorly attended,” said event organiser Paul Gaskill. “This could be be attributed to the reluctance people had to join organised activities after the peak of Covid.

"Fortunately, several local people pick up litter, individually, on their daily walks.”

One of the summer’s big events took place in June when Cafa joined Skegness Grammar School’s Theo Griffiths and The Lincolnshire Climate Conscious Students at Central Beach for a clean up which was filmed for an Open University documentary on climate issues.

A “barbecue check” was held on August 14, intending to pass on advice about open fires during the drought but there were no lit barbecues on the beach.

The Great British Beach Clean in Skegness is on Saturday, September 17, at 2 pm, starting at Xsite in Seaview Car Park.