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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 September 2005, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
'Thousands' to help clean beaches
Wembury beach. Picture: Apex
Volunteers are taking part in the cleaning process nationwide
Beaches across the UK are to be cleaned this weekend by what is expected to be thousands of volunteers.

More than 350 beaches are set to be cleaned as part of Beachwatch weekend by people who will also be keeping note of the litter they find.

Prince Charles, who backs the drive, said he hoped the UK could "begin to turn the tide" on beach litter.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) notes every piece of rubbish found on a 100-metre stretch of beach.

The details gathered will be used by the MCS to launch campaigns and tackle the problem.

I do commend all those who will be taking part in Beachwatch 2005 for their efforts to make our seas and beaches cleaner
Prince of Wales

The results, which are published each spring, are used by the Marine Conservation Society to campaign against the sources of beach litter at local, national and international levels.

Last year, 269 beaches were surveyed by more than 3,000 people who collected more than a quarter of a million items of litter.

The Prince of Wales said: "As President of the Marine Conservation Society, I do commend all those who will be taking part in Beachwatch 2005 for their efforts to make our seas and beaches cleaner.

"Thanks to them, I hope we can begin to turn the tide on the litter that despoils so many of our beaches and threatens the wildlife that depends upon them."

The prince added: "With the help of stalwart volunteers mobilised by the Marine Conservation Society, not only will our beaches be given a proper clean, but important information about the causes of litter pollution will be discovered too."

International drive

An average of 1,897 items per kilometre surveyed on UK beaches were recorded in the Beachwatch 2004 study.

This equates to one piece of litter every 52 centimetres.

Last year's survey results also revealed an 82% increase in the number of litter items recorded per kilometre compared with results from Beachwatch 1994.

The information collected contributes to International Coastal Cleanup, a worldwide project, which takes place in over 80 countries.

Volunteers can find out what beaches are taking part by calling 019 8956 7807.

Beach cleaning switched
14 Mar 03 |  England

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