September 2020

Massive clear up at Fairlight Cove; survey dates; Marine Litter MOOC

September sees an increase in the number of surveys and clean-ups events. As per Covid-19 guidelines, we can only work in small groups of six, but are still able to continue where we left off in March.  Please note that these events will not be in the public domain, but are reserved for Strandliners only. See below for dates and times

We shall join the Marine Conservation Society’s ‘Great British Beach Clean’ and the Break Free From Plastic Brand Audit. So come along and join us – it’s great fun to be part of a group of like-minded people; and it’s rewarding to know your contribution in recording and surveying beach pollution will feed in to a wider global picture. You’ll make a difference! 

Fairlight Berm Clean-up

A really successful operation – see pictures below – and a great example of a successful partnership with the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat. We could not have done it without PLIRB!

The area behind the granite rocks historically collected marine rubbish and, paradoxically, is now closer to the natural state of the beach before the Berm’s construction. 

Once again, Strandliners surveyed the rubbish to find out what’s there and identify the types of marine debris that have been washed up and trapped. (See below for the full data break-down). Polystyrene predominated – floats; buoys and countless small chunks, added to by styrofoam cups, food containers and more broken-off pieces. Plastic drinks bottles were the next most obvious item. With a ‘plastic bottle return scheme’ these items would have remained in the loop and not ended up on the beach! Time to write a letter to your MP to find out where the promised scheme is going!

Fairlight Berm at Fairlight Cove

107 bags of 367kg removed by amazing volunteers
Polystyrene = 146kg = 40% 
Plastic bottles = 76kg = 21% 
General rubbish = 145kg = 39% 
Total = 107 bags, 367 kg

Polystyrene – The styrene monomer from which it is made is suspected of causing cancer and other health problems, Styrofoam can break down into polystyrene beads, which can be consumed by aquatic and marine creatures. Much old fishing industry buoys and boxes, some from the American fishing industry.
Plastic bottles – We need a bottle deposit return scheme so that the path of bottles into the environment can be stopped. 2019 Government consultationIt is mentioned here in the 2019 Environment Bill.
General rubbish – Very little obvious recent beach visitor litter.
We need to know what is polluting our coastline so that we can turn off the tap.
We found transatlantic rubbish from North America with marine animal bite marks.
We found contents of a 2014 container spill, and others.
We found remains of European and American meteorological balloons and Radiosondes.
We found coastal plants growing in the polystyrene and bottles.
We found a 1970’s lollypop stick – identifiable by the design.
We found a blue betting shop pen – dropped in an inland town/city, washed into a gutter, then a drain, into a small watercourse, then a larger watercourse, and a river and out to sea, before washing back to the beach.

The images below are credited to Dee Rampling, Poppy Rampling and Rebecca Lewis.


Strandliners membership. We are currently reviewing the way people join or subscribe and are looking at creating a membership scheme. Changes are afoot – so watch this space! In the meantime, we do have a donation page on our website, so please have a look and donate if you can – thank you! As this is new, please contact us if you have any difficulties. More below…

Your help needed

We are surveying again!
Here are the up and coming Strandliners organised surveys and clean ups. 
Please email stating preferred event/date and we will plan so that everyone can participate.

Winchelsea Beach – Saturday 12th September, 9am to 11am – MCS
Pett Level – Sunday 13th September, 3pm to 5pm – MCS
Dungeness (Lydd Ranges MOD) – Saturday 19th September, 9am to 12.30pm – MCS
River Rother, Rye – Saturday 26th September, 10am to 12noon – Brand Audit
River Rother, Rye – Sunday 27th September, 10am to 12 noon – Brand Audit
River Rother, Rye – Sunday 4th October, 9am to 11am – Brand Audit
River Rother, Rye – Saturday 10th October, 9am to 11 am – Brand Audit
Dungeness (Lydd Ranges MOD) – Saturday 17th October, 2pm to 5.30pm – MCS

Of course if the COVID guidelines change we will adapt and at worst postpone these events.


Strandliners is a voluntary run community interest company. Funds usually come from small grants – but these cannot cover all expenditure. To help develop our area of work and the events Strandliners holds, we now have a Donations page. Your support is greatly appreciated.

MOOC course on Marine Litter

This 6 to 8 week course will give an insight to the marine plastic crisis we are experiencing. It is the 4th time is has been offered and is excellent. It will be thought provoking, time consuming but invaluable for anyone involved in the environment. There should be two levels so it may be possible to dip your toes to find out more from the beginning. And it is free!
If a number of us want to sign up perhaps we can arrange a study group?