The 2018 MCS “Great British Beach Clean” – My Experience

As those who follow me on Instagram will already know, on Sunday 16th September, I took part in my first (official) charity organised beach clean – the 2018 “Great British Beach Clean”, and it was awesome! For the last 25 years, thousands of volunteers have gathered at locations around the country for a weekend event of litter picking, which the charity Marine Conservation Society credits as being the biggest in the whole of the UK.

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Found five cotton buds in a row here!

It was my first time taking part in an official event, and I have to say the day was extremely well organised. The team of 30 or so volunteers was made up of an entirely different group of people: Some old, some parents with young children, students, and quite a few fans of Blue Planet (Proving the power of mainstream TV). Ultimately whatever reason they had for being there, our goal was all the same: To rid our 100m stretch of beach, in a lively Somerset seaside town, of as much litter as possible. Turns out that’s a lot easier said than done!

 

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A quick(ish) introduction!

I’ve wanted to work with animals ever since I was a child. Firstly, a vet. Then a zookeeper, professional horse rider, miniature animal farm owner, the list was endless. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I had considered a career in conservation a real possibility. Academically I’m not overly gifted, and to be perfectly honest, for a while I genuinely believed people like me just weren’t cut out to be scientists.

I have the drive, I most definitely have the passion, but as of yet, I have never witnessed the wonder of seeing an exotic wild animal in its natural habitat. I have never taken part in a professional ecological survey either.

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