Force is with Skegness Aquarium beach clean

The Jolly Fisherman joined volunteers for the Skegness Aquarium beach clean. ANL-171025-150144001

The force was with the Skegness Aquarium when volunteers gathered for an end of season beach clean.

Twenty cadets from Bedfordshire Police joined the teams of five scouring a 100 meter stretch beyond the area cleaned by East Lindsey District Council.

Leanne Smith and her children William, 9, Amelia, 7, and Henry, 4, joined the Skegness Aquarium beach clean. ANL-171025-150130001

PC Hannah Ross, cadet co-ordinator, said the cadets had been invited because one of the Aquarium’s divers, Adam Gadd, is an Inspector with the Bedfordshire Force and another diver, Nigel Trippett, is their former assistant chief constable.

She said: “We try and get the cadets away every holiday and with our links with the Aquarium we decided to take part in the beach clean as part of our stay.

“The cadets are having a sleepover at the Aquarium and are also going diving and to the cinema while they are here.”

The Aquarium’s end of season beach clean follows a similar event held in February when 40kg of rubbish was collected and marks the Aquarium’s commitment to protecting marine life.

Bedfordshire Police Cadets Joel Williams and Karolina Michalak clearing the beach during Skegness Aquarium's beach clean. ANL-171025-150119001

It also supports the BeachCare programme, run by Keep Britain Tidy, which encouraging people to get involved in the management of their local beach,

Roxanne Prime, curator at Skegness Aquarium, said: “We organise this as part of our conservation programme.

“Nationally there has been a lot of publicity recently about plastic in the sea which is finding its way into the food chain and it’s happening here.

“We’ll be clearing a 100 meter stretch of beach which isn’t cleaned by the council.

Bedfordshire Police Cadets are having a sleepover at Skegness Aquarium and joined the beach clean as part of their visit. ANL-171025-150108001

“As well as clearing the sand of rubbish we’ll be logging what we find onto an info board in the Aquarium and then passing on the results to BeachCare, so they can add it to their data.”

Giving the volunteers a Skegness send-off before heading onto the beach from the Aquarium was the Jolly Fisherman and the Skegness Ambassadors.

Along with Roxanne, two other members of the Aquarium team were there to offer guidance and assistance and hand out litter pickers, protective gloves and rubbish bags.

Education demonstrator Judith Wilson was collecting items of marine life to replenish stocks in the Aquarium. She said: “We have boxes in which you have tyo guess what things are and some times things go missing. So we are collecting things like mermaids purses and shark purses.

“We are also hoping to make people more mindful about leaving things on the beach because it does have consequences. The smallest piece of plastic can be the most dangerous because is can be consumed by marine life and we want to get that message out.”

Aquarist Joseph Elsden-Bird has been at the Aquarium for just a couple of months and was looking forward to getting out on the beach.

He said: “This is my first ever beach so I’m looking forward to seeing what rubbish we find and the impact it is having on the marine life here.”

Also on her first beach clean was Bedfordshire Police cadet Sarah Carne, 16. She said: “I hate seeing rubbish when you go to the beach. It’s important that we care for our environment.”

The Smith family from Widnes, Warrington, were staying in a caravan at the Richmond Holiday Centre and thought joining the beach clean would be something different to do.

Mum Leanne was there with William, 9, Amelia, 7, and Henry, 4, and said: “I saw it was on and thought I’d bring the children along.

“They often ask why people leave rubbish on the beach and it’s good to come here so they understand more.

“They are loving it. I think we’ll come back again.”

You can join them at Skegness Aquarium in Tower Esplanade today (Thursday) at 12noon. Those taking part will get a discounted £5 entry to the Aquarium and free tea and coffee to warm them up afterwards.

* See how they get on and what they find in next week’s Skegness Standard.

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