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Cornish Volunteers Help Protect Beaches

Cornish Volunteers Help Protect Beaches

Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) recently coordinated its biggest ever Big Spring Beach Clean involving over 3500 volunteers at 130 beaches around the UK coastline who together removed a staggering 25 tonnes of marine litter. The Big Spring Beach Clean was also the first action for SAS’s new team of Cornish Beach Guardians. The Beach Guardians are teams of experienced reactive beach clean volunteers, ready to respond when Cornish beaches need a helping hand to be restored and protected.

Thanks to the new Beach Guardians, Cornwall was by far the best represented county during the Big Spring Beach Clean weekend, with 35 events taking place from Bude to Seaton encouraging over 1,200 volunteers to remove a massive 8,900 KGs of marine litter from Cornish shores, delivering cleaner and safer beaches for everyone to enjoy.

People at the SAS marine litter pick Watergate


Big Spring Beach Clean Cornwall:

  • 35 – Big Spring Beach Cleans run by SAS lead volunteers
  • 10 of the 35 beach clean events were run by SAS Beach Guardians.
  • 11 active SAS Beach Guardians in place to respond to further beach litter emergencies at 24 Cornish beaches.
  • 1250 – SAS beach clean volunteers
  • 8.75 TONNES – of marine litter removed by SAS beach clean volunteers
  • 260 – Volunteers at Perranporth in Cornwall. A Big Spring Beach Clean record!
  • 3.5 TONNES – of marine litter removed from Perranporth in Cornwall. An SAS record for one single beach clean!
  • 33 – Average number of volunteers at each Cornish Big Spring Beach Clean
  • 237 KGs – Average weight removed from each Cornish Big Spring Beach Clean
  • 7 KGs – Amount of marine litter removed by each individual Cornish Big Spring Beach Clean volunteer
  • Sennen Cove – The second largest event with well over 100 SAS volunteers clearing 1000kgs of litter and lead by an SAS Beach Guardian.
  • UFOs – Thousands of blue plastic ‘bungs’ or ‘stoppers’ on all North Coast beaches. SAS are seeking help in identify these Unidentified Floating Objects as part of their UFO marine litter campaign?

Beach Guardians – Groups & Locations:

  • Widemouth Task Force: Widemouth Bay and surrounding area
  • Newquay Marine Group; predominantly Newquay area (all beaches)
  • Newquay Beachcombing: predominantly Newquay area (all beaches)
  • Newquay Beach Care: predominantly Newquay area (all beaches) & Penhale
  • Polzeath Voluntary Marine Conservation Group: Polzeath area
  • St Agnes Marine Conservation Group: St Agnes, Porthtowan
  • Nature Workshops: Mobile but cover south coast beaches i.e. Porthleven, the Lizard and Falmouth
  • Looe Marine Conservation Group: Looe
  • Friends of Portheras Cove: Portheras Cove
  • Friends of Seaton Valley: Seaton
  • Coverack Space 2000: Coverack
  • Cornish Rock Tors: Polzeath


SAS Chief Executive, Hugo Tagholm says; “Surfers Against Sewage would like to say a huge thank you to all the Beach Guardians who helped remove almost 9 tonnes of litter from Cornish beaches. This massive springboard of action will hopefully help connect, inspire and motivate Cornwall’s coastal communities to be increasingly involved with campaigns to protect our waves, oceans and beaches for the future. We look forward to continuing to work with Visit Cornwall to protect & promote Cornwall’s unique and beautiful beaches and coastal spaces.”

Surfers Against Sewage are now asking individuals and coastal communities to pledge to stop using single-use plastic bags in their ongoing effort to protect the marine environment at

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