BeacherCombers cleaning up Grays Beach

On Sunday morning, around 20, Grays Beachcomber volunteers spent a couple of hours in the sun collecting waste plastic and other rubbish from along the river front in Grays.

They collected 26 sacks of rubbish which included over 220 single use plastic bottles that would otherwise have been washed back into the Thames.

This Sunday, they also collected a number of empty drinks cans that will be used to help create an art installation known as a “Mandala,” as part of this year’s T100 festival.

After the volunteers finished their hard work they were treated to a well deserved bacon sandwich and a drink at the Lightship Cafe – the cafe in Grays Beach Park.

Chair of the Riverside Community Big Local, Andy Blakey, said;

“Around the world eight million tonnes of waste plastic make their way into our seas and rivers. Those plastics break down and end up being consumed by fish – much of which we eat.

“The work of the Grays Beachcombers is one small way of raising the profile of this issue as well as helping improve our local environment. I want to thank every one of them for their hard work and the Riverside Community Big Local is pleased to make sure they all get something to eat and drink afterwards.”

The Grays Beachcombers meet on the first Sunday of the month, 10.30 outside Thurrock Yacht Club.

Next clean up at Grays Beach Sunday 8th November 10:30

Dolly is bagging another bottle. Even Storm Francis couldn’t dampen her enthusiasm last Tuesday.

Dolly is 6 years old and is very keen to clear up the rubbish around the Thames as she has learnt about it at school. 

She loved the day with all of the volunteers, making friends with everyone. Her big sister said her favourite find was the “wand” which was actually a weird looking fork haha!

Together with a little help from the other volunteers, Dolly filled 31 sacks including 223 single use plastic bottles.

Steve Catchpole said “I am looking forward to seeing Dolly and all the other volunteers at a future event very soon.”

Future events:

Saturday 26th September – Friends of North Thames Estuary – meeting at the Tilbury Fort, Tilbury RM18 7NR – 10:30 to 13:30. If you have your own equipment, picker, hoop, gloves, face mask and sturdy walking shoes, please bring them. We will be walking at least 3 miles collecting river rubbish along the foreshore – Limited facilities available – 8 places available.

Sunday 4th October – Friends of Grays Beachcombers – meeting at Thurrock Yacht Club, Grays RM17 6JF at 10:30 until 12:00. Foreshore tidy. If you have your own equipment, picker, hoop, gloves and face mask please also bring along sanitising hand wash. – Limited facilities are available – FULLY BOOKED.

Sunday 8th November – Friends of Grays Beachcombers – meeting at Thurrock Yacht Club, Grays RM17 6JF at 10:30 until 12:00. Foreshore tidy. If you have your own equipment, picker, hoop, gloves and face mask please also bring along sanitising hand wash. – Limited facilities are available – Only 6 places available. Please note the alternative date.

Sunday 6th December – Friends of Grays Beachcombers – meeting at Thurrock Yacht Club, Grays RM17 6JF at 10:30 until 12:00. Foreshore tidy. If you have your own equipment, picker, hoop, gloves and face mask please also bring along sanitising hand wash. – Limited facilities are available – 14 places available.

During these strange times pre-booking is critical. Do not attend unless I have confirmed your places.

To book a place please email Steve Catchpole at Litterpickingsteve@outlook.com

Over 10,000 plastic bottles removed already this year

We have already picked 10,000 plastic bottles along the estuary this year. This is the first time we have picked so many bottles in less than a 3 month period… more proof that what we are doing is really important.

Following DP World London Gateway’s decision to stop any external meetings by their employees, their involvement in the litter picking event on Wednesday has reluctantly been withdrawn.

On Wednesday Jamie from the RSPB will be holding an event starting at 10:00am at the Visitor Centre. So rather than run two events I suggest we all support the RSPB event. They will be picking along the foreshore lower path and on the reed beds.

Please contact the RSPB if you plan to attend so they can ensure the right amount of equipment etc. Hope you can join us on Wednesday, I will bring the good weather!

Currently Thurrock has no known cases of the virus, but to reduce the risk of contamination may I suggest you bring your own gloves and you ensure you wash your hands before and after the event. Also consider the 2 metre distance where possible during the event.

Wednesday 18th March – meeting at RSPB Rainham Marshes Centre in Purfleet RM19 1SZ at 10:00. This is an RSPB organised and run event. Please make sure you register your interest with the RSPB before attending on 01708 899851.

Other events are currently continuing as planned, if this changes I will advise.

Wednesday 25th March – meeting at old St Clements Church RM20 4AL at 10:30 to 13:30. We will be picking along the Graffiti Wall. This event will include up to 4 miles walking so comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event and forms part of the Great British Spring Clean.

Wednesday 1st April – meeting at St. Margaret’s Avenue SS17 0SH to pick Mucking Creek at 10:30 to 13:30. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event and forms part of the Great British Spring Clean.

Sunday 5th April – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF at 10:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the café. Grays Beachcombers is a monthly Thames21 River Action Group family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6 years and older. On this occasion it forms part of the Great British Spring Clean.

Wednesday 22nd April – as part of Earth Day 2020 we will be meeting at Grays Thurrock Yacht Club RM17 6JF at 10:30 to 12:30. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event in partnership with Tilbury Green Power Station employees.

50 bags of Rubbish from Grays Beach

Another massive haul at Grays Beach on Sunday morning where 28 of us picked up 50 sacks of rubbish including 247 plastic bottles and 2 bags of plastic gems for use in a mandala to be constructed in Grays in July by Kinetika during this years T100. (More details to follow nearer the time.)

Upcoming Events

Thursday 5th March – meeting at Purfleet Railway Station RM19 1PP at 10:30 to 12:30. We will be picking primarily plastic bottles on the other side of the seawall and bringing them back to the road for collection. This event will include climbing fixed ladders over the 2m high seawall so comfortable walking shoes/boots are essential. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event. 

Friday 6th March – meeting at RSPB Rainham Marshes Centre in Purfleet RM19 1SZ at 10:00 to 13:00. This is a Plastic Pollution – Seashore Guardian Beach organised and run event. Please make sure you register your interest with the RSPB before attending. 01708 899851 or rainham.marshes@rspb.org.uk .

Friday 13th March – meeting at old St Clements Church RM20 4AL at 10:00 to 14:00. We will be picking along to the QE2 Bridge with Coca Cola employees. This event will include up to 4 miles walking so comfortable walking shoes/boots are essential. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event. 

Saturday 14th March – meeting in John Street RM17 6ED at 09:00 to 12:00. This is the regular Orchard Forum back alley clean-up. All welcome especially local residents.

Wednesday 18th March – DP World Event – meeting at RSPB Rainham Marshes Centre in Purfleet RM19 1SZ at 10:00 to 15:30. Like last year DP World employees are going to us, this time at the RSPB centre. Feel free to pop along for just some of the event.

Wednesday 25th March – meeting at old St Clements Church RM20 4AL at 10:30 to 13:30. We will be picking along the Graffiti Wall. This event will include up to 4 miles walking so comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event and forms part of the Great British Spring Clean. 

Wednesday 1st April – meeting at St. Margaret’s Avenue SS17 0SH to pick Mucking Creek at 10:30 to 13:30. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event and forms part of the Great British Spring Clean.

Sunday 5th April – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF at 10:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the café. Grays Beachcombers is a monthly Thames21 River Action Group family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6 years and older. On this occasion it forms part of the Great British Spring Clean.

Wednesday 22nd April – as part of Earth Day 2020 we will be meeting at Grays Thurrock Yacht Club RM17 6JF at 10:30 to 12:30. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event in partnership with Tilbury Green Power Station employees

Dates for litter picks

Following on from a great pick around the small carpark at the Rainham RSPB centre, I’m pleased to advise our next event is at the Graffiti Wall in West Thurrock on 25th January, details below.If you have not taken a look at the graffiti wall paintings before, why not come along and have a look at them.

Saturday 25th January – meeting at old St Clements Church RM20 4AL at 10:30 to 13:30. We will be picking along the Graffiti Wall. This is a family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 8 years and older. This event will include up to 3 miles walking so comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended. This is a river based Badged Thames21 event.

Sunday 2nd February – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF at 10:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the café. This is the Grays Beachcombers regular monthly pick. This is a family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6 years and older and is a river based Badged Thames21 event

Saturday 8th February – meeting in Salisbury Road RM17 6DQ at 09:00 to 12:00. This is the regular Orchard Forum back alley clean-up. All welcome especially local residents.

Saturday 8th February – meeting at RSPB Rainham Marshes Centre in Purfleet RM19 1SZ at 10:15 to 12:30. This is an RSPB organised and run event. Please make sure you register your interest with the RSPB before attending. 01708 899851 or rainham.marshes@rspb.org.uk This event will especially suit young (and us older) Eco Warriors! Parents don’t forget to bring the binoculars.

Wednesday 12th February – meeting at the Wharf Hotel, Wharf Road South, RM17 5YX at 10:30 to 13:00. We will be picking rubbish from along the foreshore. This adult only event will include up to 2 miles walking so comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended.

Saturday 22nd February – meeting at the Riverside Carpark at the Concrete Barges Rainham, RM13 9YQ at 10:30 to 13:30. We will be picking rubbish from along the foreshore and the reed beds. This is a family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 8 years and older. This is a river based Badged Thames21 event.

Sunday 1st March – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF at 10:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the café. This is the Grays Beachcombers regular monthly pick. This is a family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6 years and older and is a river based Badged Thames21 event.

Litter Pickers in action October 2019

I think autumn has arrived!

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoorFollowing the storm last week, on Sunday 33 pickers collected over 1,031 plastic bottles in 58 sacks. Thanks to all who turned up on what threatened to be a very wet morning.

Having reviewed the foreshore at the RSPB Rainham it’s been decided we need a good litter pick from the small car park in Coldharbour Lane on Tuesday morning at 10:30 to 13:00. (Pass the Riverside Carpark and continue driving past with the landfill on your right hand side). This is an area outside of the RSPB area. Once again there wImage may contain: plant and outdoorill be lots of bottles to count, look forward to seeing you there.

Future dates for your diary
Tuesday 15th October – meeting at small carpark at end of Coldharbour Lane, Rainham RM13 3BJ from 10:30 to 13:00. Alternatively, park in the RSPB centre in Purfleet and walk west towards Rainham. Nearest train station Purfleet and follow signs to RSPB.
Wednesday 23rd October – meeting at old St Clements Church RM20 4AL from 10:30 to 13:00. This will be a “walk and pick” event that will include 4 miles w
alking.

Sunday 3rd November – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF from 10:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the café. This is the Grays Beachcombers regular monthly pick. This is a family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6 years and older.
Regards
Steve catchpole
Waterway Clean Up Facilitator
07922 480 528

Beachcombers October

Sunday 6th October – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF from 09:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the café. This is the Grays Beachcombers regular monthly pick. This is a family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6 years and older. – updated timing for this month’s event.

Many of you may realise over the last couple of days we have had very high tides, a lot of rain and strong winds. The result of these three has resulted in another heavy deposit of plastic along the northern Thames foreshore. Below is a picture taken this morning in Grays.

Because of the quantity of plastics that need to be removed from the high-tide line asap I will be at the Yacht Club at 09:30 for the Beachcombers regular monthly event.

As usual we will meet outside the Yacht Club in Thames Road. In case when you arrive nobody is there, we will be working downstream/east/left of the yacht club.

Given the quantity of plastic to pick this event will suit younger pickers – especially given I have 6 raptor dino-pickers that are “biting at the bit” to consume some plastic!

Please wear weather appropriate clothing and sturdy boots, all other equipment will be provided.

Look forward to seeing as many young and less young as possible on Sunday morning.

Regards

Steve Catchpole

Beachcombers – cleaning up our riverside.

Take a walk along any beach or riverside, anywhere, and you can’t help but notice the amount of plastic waste that has been washed up on the shore

Over eight million tonnes of plastic debris ends up in our seas every year, polluting lands, rivers, coasts, beaches, and seas – that is, about, five shopping bags full of plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.

Plastic debris kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually, as well as millions of birds and fishes.

The river Thames is no exception to this problem so once a month the Grays Beachcombers, led by Steve Catchpole, meet by Thurrock Yacht Club and spend a couple of hours collecting discarded plastic – mainly single use drinks bottles.

In the last six months of 2017 they collected 350 sacks of rubbish and, so far, this year they have collected over 150 sacks of rubbish including more than a thousand plastic drinks bottles.

If you want to help, the Beachcombers meet on the first Sunday of each month at 10.30 by Thurrock Yacht Club. We finish by 12 noon and have a well-deserved cup of coffee and bacon roll (vegetarian alternative available) courtesy of the Lightship Café.