‘Culture change’ appeal to stop beach littering

‘Culture change’ appeal to stop beach littering

7 April 2021

THE National Trust has called for a “culture of change” to encourage people not to litter after shocking weekend incidents at the award-winning Murlough beach near Newcastle.

A number of tents, sleeping bags, garden chairs, food packaging and quantity of empty beer and cider cans and broken bottles were discovered by National Trust staff after revellers had left the area.

The National Trust was particularly worried that as many as seven fires had been lit in the dunes and one on the beach, some of which were still smouldering on Sunday morning. 

Those who started the fires had made no attempt to extinguish them by covering them with sand.

In a social media post, the conservation charity said it was “very disappointed” to discover what seems like the start of “another season of extreme littering on our beaches”. 

The Trust’s Facebook page confirmed that last Friday and Saturday night, large groups of young people who gathered at the beach left the majority of their belongings behind, including still smouldering fires, sleeping bags and plenty of broken bottles.

“We have excellent support from volunteer litter pickers and local residents who use their visit to do beach cleans and they are our heroes,” said the post.

“The rangers are here to look after the Nature Reserve and not pick up after others. We must start a culture of change as a community to encourage everyone to #LeaveNoTrace.”

The social media post added: “Hopefully this coming summer will see an improvement on last year and more awareness of the importance of looking after places like Murlough.”

In another social media post, Newcastle Coastguard said it was “very sad” to learn from the National Trust about the large amount of litter and rubbish left at Murlough beach on Sunday morning.

It said that a number of young people camped at the beach on Saturday and, for the second night in a row, left an ”incredible” amount of rubbish behind.

The Facebook post added: “Full respect to the National Trust staff and volunteers on the beach again this morning gathering up the rubbish and making the fires safe. They do not get enough credit for what they do.

“The rubbish left at Murlough over two nights this Easter was not simply a bit of idle littering. It was bordering on vandalism by young people who couldn’t care less and that’s perhaps the saddest thing of all.”