We had a fascinating and eye opening day out on Tuesday, visiting Gary Jolliffe at Till the Coast is Clear with a group of PNN members. The morning was spent sorting more than a third of a tonne of waste recovered from a single estuary in the South Hams. This was just a fifth of the waste collected from this one site and it was quite a site. As well as hundreds of dog balls, plastic bottles, plastic bags and scraps of fishing net, we found a doll, several traffic cones and much more.
After a well earned pasty and a coffee we headed out to Soar Mill Cove to do some beach cleaning. Happily there wasn’t quite as much plastic on this magnificent beach but what we did find was equally troubling. At the back of the beach we found thousands and thousands of tiny plastic pellets, known as Nurdles, that are the raw material used in all moulded plastics. It was shocking to see the quantity of Nurdles in such an idyllic spot and we spent a long time picking them up (but not really making a dent). There are ways of removing large quantities of Nurdles from beaches, with organisations like Nurdles.org.uk providing equipment for the purpose but as we were armed with only our trusty litter pickers and our hands, there was little we could do. All of us left the beach uplifted by it’s beauty but saddened by the carelessness that leads to such extensive plastic pollution.
On March the 22nd we took a group of PNN members over to the Moor Trees nursery in Dartington, Devon for our first Field Networking event. We spent the day learning about the work that Moor Trees do and getting stuck in, clearing and digging out beds and transplanting saplings.
Moor Trees is an independent charity dedicated to restoring native woodland on Dartmoor and in South Devon. They aim to improve the environment and connect people with their forest heritage. If you’d like to find out more about Moor Trees and learn how to support them visit their website: https://moortrees.org/get-involved/