The berm was constructed to protect the cliff which has been eroding and crumbling into the sea. Sadly, a lagoon of rubbish is building up behind the berm. Where did it come from? The sea left it there, but much of it has come from land-based activities. All of it has come from human activities! So what is there? Plastic single-use items – bottles; remains of fishing equipment – net, rope, traps; sewage-related items – tampon applicators, cotton bud sticks that have been flushed; and polystyrene pieces in their millions from packaging, fishing boxes etc. One positive outcome is that it has been taken out of the sea and won’t be endangering marine animals. But what of the strandline animals living where the land meets the sea?
The rubbish is only accessible at low tide after a 30 minute walk (potentially in danger of being cut off), and so not too many people may know it is there.
Our Strandliners beachcombing walk in January revealed the extent of the polystyrene lagoon. We had planned a week of cleaning and recording sessions May, in partnership with the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat. But this had to be postponed due to the lockdown. We plan to go ahead when restrictions are removed and more of us can take part. This will be a major project!
Watch this space for further details.