June 2019

So we’ve seen the longest day and now we are in the midst of outdoor activity season, hopefully we’re able to get out and enjoy some good weather, before the storms (and winter!). 

This is the perfect time to walk those beaches and river bank paths and get an eye for our local environment. I’m not suggesting that we don’t know our local paths, rivers, woods, beaches etc, but so often I’ve “zoned out” and enjoyed the fresh air, the different smells etc, without focusing on the smaller detail around. Looking at a greater level at what’s around me on the beach I’ve been able to identify plastic pollution that I had once thought was seaweed! And now I have this feeling for what is “the usual” around me, I find it easier to track the unusual and potentially the beginning of a new pollution source.

The more we get to know what the usual rubbish is in “our own environment”, we’ll begin to notice anything that is unusual.  

And now, with generous funding from Sea-Changers, there is an exciting development for Strandliners taking it in a new direction, and establishing it in the local community. 

A Brand New Programme – help get it up and running

Thanks to generous support from Sea-Changers, a UK marine conservation charity, Strandliners CIC is set to launch a new and exciting community programme in our area: Community Action Teams. We raised the money; now we need your help.

Over the next couple of months, Strandliners will recruit and train team-leaders to head local action teams in targeted communities across the River Rother basin: from Heathfield to Hythe, Rotherfield to Rye. 

The point? Over 60% of the toxic waste we regularly pick up on our beaches and riverbanks comes from inland. Our goal is to engage upstream communities in the fight against plastic by establishing locally-organised and managed teams where people live and work; to educate, inform and activate them to become stakeholders and stewards of their own inland aqua-environments: their local rivers, streams, lakes, and standing waters. 

It’s a challenge. Isn’t anything that’s worth doing? 

To make it work, we need a select group of dedicated women and men – volunteers like you – to train as CAT team-leaders starting now. Help Strandliners shape and refine its programme and learn more by coming to Strandliners’ first CAT meeting.
When: Sunday July 21 from 1.30pm – 5pm

Where: St Nick’s Church, Pett Level, TN35 4EH (next to the Smuggler pub).
What: An indoor and outdoor (bring suitable gear) intensive training programme developed with your input.
Be in at the beginning! And bring your upstream friends too.
Numbers are limited due to space. Refreshments provided – of course!

Please email if you would like to participate in this new Strandliners project.

Shoresearch with SWT at Pett Level, Monday 8th July, 09:00

These are free and have been running for a number of years, organised by Sussex Wildlife Trust. Both events are open to all knowledge levels, but participants should be aware that Shoresearch is a data collection exercise to collect data on species and habitats, rather than a guided rock-pooling session.
If interested please email sarahward@sussexwt.org.uk to book a place. 
And visit here for further information.
They are great fun to join in and we have seen some interesting species in the past.

Call to action for everyone walking river paths in the River Rother and Cuckmere catchment, tributaries and watercourses. Your help is needed. If you come across any pollution: 1. Take a photo of the rubbish with some background, 2. Make a note of where it is, 3. Send photo and brief report to strandlinersCIC@gmail.com with title River Rother Rubbish Report. Much of the pollution in the sea and on beaches comes from inland sources (between 75% and 80%, but varies around the world), so finding the sources of the rubbish is the first step to stopping the rubbish get into the environment.

Future events

Rye Bay Beachcombing (led by Strandliners CIC)

The Fairlight Berm – This site will be cleaned and surveyed later this year when the area should be safer to access. Stay tuned for further developments! Due to access there may only be a 1 or 2 week notice, but it should be on a weekend. 

Dungeness, Lydd Ranges – Marine Conservation Society survey – The date will be short notice due to the MOD timetable. It will involve a 30 minute each way walk on shingle from the car park and back, and approx a 2 hour litter survey. If interested please email as this event will not be advertised due to the nature of the environment and has 16 participants as a maximum. A list of everyone interested will be kept and when the date is known an email will be sent. Thank you to those who have already replied (8 so far).

Cleaner Rivers, Cleaner Seas – Talk by Andy Dinsdale, Strandliners CIC, for the Bexhill Environment Group – Wed 3rd July, Beaula Hall, Bexhill 7pm.

“What happens to the rubbish that’s collected?”

We’ve been asked this question, and do people just sigh and think, ‘Job well done’?
What about what happens further down the line?

With the recent River Rother clean ups the plastic bottles were collected and recycled but the rest was quite horrible rubbish that had to continue as black bag landfill.

At the beach surveys and cleans there is something else to change what happens due to the plastic’s reaction with toxins in the sea water. When plastics are in sea water the potential to adsorb (concentrate on the outside surface) persistent organic pollutants increases. For this reason we don’t recycle plastic from the sea. The amount of toxins may depend on a number of factors – temperature, salinity, turbidity, type of plastic, surface area, duration submerged to name a few. 

What can we recycle from home?
These are the links to our local authority recycling pages.

Rother District Council

Hastings Borough Council

Eastbourne Borough Council

Wealden District Council

Folkestone & Hythe District Council