The only time I can be on the beach at Crackington Haven during the summer is on a Sunday morning when the weekly beach clean takes place. A dog ban during the high tourist season means that I can’t walk Gwynnik along the shore there during the week now, so my wife and I take turns to walk her elsewhere while the other does the beach clean.
The beach cleaners are looking for plastics of course, the sort of stuff that kills wildlife through no fault of their own. It is either mistaken for possible food or tangles around them and restricts them in a way that will gradually kill them by preventing them from breathing, feeding or evading their predators in their natural way.
The Crackington Crew are now into their third year of cleaning and have missed only a handful of Sunday mornings in that time when attending would not be safe due to extremely high winds or, for a couple of occasions this year, the steep roads in to the valley and down to the beach itself being impassable due to snow.
Pickings have been relatively slim during the summer – due to the benign weather and currents not churning up the sea and it spitting out as much of the garbage content it undoubtedly harbours – but the group have kept studious records and have cleared over 4 tons of assorted human plastic waste since forming.
Awareness of the plastics problem has grown hugely in the last year. I am sure we are finding the beach cleans offer less rubbish than before because people are making the effort to be tidier themselves as well as being encouraged by the Two Minute Beach Clean boards to do their own ad-hoc cleans whenever they can. It helps that people are starting to actively reduce their use of single use plastic as well.
When the school holidays have begun the ‘high’ season starts and the beach is busy with families out enjoying the sun and surf in their variety of ways. People troop along towards it from the car park with their beach day kit, adults weighed down and juggling with their wetsuits, windbreaks and body boards and with their many beach bags stuffed with the days other necessities. The kids run off excitedly ahead, already in swim wear with massive smiles and a bucket and spade.
So taking a break from wondering the beach with my litter picker, rubbish bag and hi-viz vested fellow volunteers, I sneaked a moment or two to photographically capture the scene and wondered how the abstract movement technique might render all the busy activity at the edge of the sea and capture all the colour too.
Layout update: Previous visitors may notice that I have changed the theme that my blog uses. Basically on previewing this post I got fed up that the pictures were looking pretty tiny, although the rest of the content and menus looked clean and organised.
After much testing of the theme options I changed it for this one. It doesn’t allow me to keep all the store links and menus as visible but hopefully you will agree that the photographs look a lot better in the bigger sizes this one allows. Any feedback is of course very welcome.