Jan Wells is a phenomenal Bude lady. At the time of her writing this, she was on day 336 of a year of #2MinuteBeachCleans – brilliant. Over to Jan to tell her tale, but I think she is amazing, consistent, self-deprecating and deserves a big, loud cheer from us all:
As a family, we spend an enormous amount of time at the beach. When the girls were little and we were struggling, it was our saviour. Long days spent digging holes and rock pooling wore them out, didn’t cost a penny and educated them while they played. Nowadays it’s surfing, walking the dogs and meeting their friends. Increasingly, we noticed more and more plastics and debris on the beach.
When Ado Shorland decided enough was enough and started up Widemouth Task Force, a group that meet once a month to clear the beaches, we joined and went along whenever we could. It was our chance to give something back, knowing that every bin bag of rubbish collected will not be swooshing back out to sea is a wonderful feeling.
Some time later I remember seeing Martin Dorey’s tentative post about his idea for the 2-minute beach clean, asking people to pick up, hashtag and post pictures. It was brilliant because it took away the guilt that you weren’t cleaning the whole beach, it was just saying: “you know, it’s ok to just pick up a few things”. At the time I wasn’t on Instagram or Twitter so I just started picking up as I walked the dog.
Last December, I wanted to help raise awareness through hashtagging the beach cleans so I challenged myself to post at least one clean a day for a year. Picking up the rubbish is simple; the hardest thing has been remembering to bring my phone, getting Wi-Fi when we were on holiday and thinking of something to write; quite often I wimp out and just put #2minutebeachclean.
Whatever the weather or what’s going on in my life the two constants are the dogs need a walk and there’s rubbish on the beach, so it really has been no trouble at all.
It’s also given me a fabulous photo diary of a year in our life, Sunday picnics with the family and walks with my dear friends, Ruth Maloney and Catherine Appleton, and a record of our amazing Cornish weather.
I can also look back at the photos of all the bottles and large pieces of plastic and be happy knowing they won’t be breaking down into smaller pieces, they won’t be picked up and fed to a chick or dinner for some unsuspecting sea creature.
We are incredibly lucky to live where we do and in a community that still has that special something that gets things done and it’s been a pleasure being a tiny part of it.
If you want to get involved visit beachclean.net or join Widemouth Task Force on Facebook for details of monthly beach cleans.