Take part in the Great British Beach Clean

Charity and Sponsorship, Coastal, Holidays with more heart

Posted by Ruth on 27th July 2021

Great British Beach Clean

At holidaycottages.co.uk, we are proud to work together with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) on a shared passion: protecting our beautiful coastline from plastic pollution. As well as supporting the charity’s #PlasticChallenge this July, we are proud to back the Great British Beach Clean this September. 

Holidays with more heart


What is The Great British Beach Clean?

The Marine Conservation Society has been running its iconic annual beach clean to help tackle ocean pollution for the past 26 years. Over this time, thousands of people have come together to pick up 319 tonnes of litter – that’s the equivalent of more than 26 double-decker buses!

Not only has the Great British Beach Clean made a huge impact on reducing the amount of plastic pollution on our beaches, but it has paved the way for some significant legislation on the most polluting products too, leading to the plastic bag charge, consultations on Deposit Return Schemes and better wet-wipe labelling to name a few.

Every year, the Marine Conservation Society has organised beach cleans all around our country’s coastline over one weekend in September; previously, participants would find their nearest event and get involved. However, the Great British Beach Clean in 2020 will be a little different, as the Marine Conservation Society is calling on individuals to ‘adopt’ a stretch of coast and organise their own beach cleans in bubbles, over a week-long event from 18th to 25th September. 


Beach clean

How do I get involved?

Because 2020 is a year like no other, the Marine Conservation Society needs a lot of small beach cleans to happen all over the country to ensure it can have as much of an impact as during its usual mass-participation Great British Beach Clean events. 

It’s also more important than ever to get involved, as the data collected from this year’s events will help inform the ‘green recovery’ from the COVID-19 pandemic that will put environmental issues at the forefront of the political agenda. 

So, from the 18th – 25th September, the charity is calling on us all to organise our own beach clean events with our friends and family. Here’s how you can get involved:

Choosing a beach

Once you’ve decided which beach will be the setting for your Great British Beach Clean and registered to run the event, there are other things to bear in mind. For example, you need to take note of the tide times, get the beach owner’s permission and organise the collection of rubbish. You’ll also need to complete a risk assessment and think about what you and your volunteers need to bring.

What to bring

As well as bin bags and beach cleaning equipment, you’ll also need to remember to bring the risk assessment, volunteer survey forms to help record the litter, and a survey summary form too. It’s also handy to have a first aid kit and somewhere to put any sharps or glass you might find.

On the day

When the big day finally arrives, make sure everyone is aware of any health and safety issues, explain the methodology for the survey and arrange a time to meet back after the clean-up. After the clean, collect the bin bags up to weigh and count them and consider doing a closing talk – it’s brilliant that people give up their time to help clean up the beaches so make sure you say a big thank you to your friends and family for helping you to support this year’s event.

You can read more about organising a beach clean and find support for your event by clicking the button below.

Get involved


If you take part in the Great British Beach Clean, why not send us a snap? For every photograph submitted via commenting on our Facebook post, or by tagging us on Instagram and Twitter and using #GBBC, we’ll be donating 50p* to the Marine Conservation Society. For more details on how we’re proudly supporting the Marine Conservation Society this year, click here.

*Donations to MCS for the Great British Beach Clean are up to a maximum of £1,000.


Street clean

What if I don’t live near the coast?

Whether your live close to a beach or in the middle of the country, you can help clean up our coastline. As part of the Great British Beach Clean, the Marine Conservation Society is running the Source to Sea Litter Quest, to raise awareness of how pollutants get into our waterways and then end up on our beaches.

Around 80% of the litter on our beaches has come from towns, parks and rivers. To help prevent plastic pollution finding its way to our coastline, you can try and spot the most common beach litter items in your area and dispose of them safely, preventing them from making their way into our water systems in the first place.

Join citizen scientists by the coast throughout the week of the Great British Beach Clean and take part in the Source to Sea Litter Quest, stopping litter making its way to our seas. Find out how you can take part here. 

You can also find out how you can do your bit to reduce litter in everyday life with our guide below.

Reduce your litter


Staying safe

Staying safe on a beach clean 

Beach cleans are a brilliant way of getting out and about in the fresh coastal air, helping the planet and learning more about our environment at the same time. Find out more about the benefits of beach cleans by reading our guide:

Taking part in beach cleans


However, there are some safety tips to take into consideration, especially in the current climate. Here are some ways you can stay safe on a beach clean:

  1. Check the government’s and local council’s rules before visiting the beach 
  2. Ensure your group numbers don’t exceed the government advice for gatherings – remember, groups of more than six people from more than two households are no longer allowed to meet outside in England – and make sure social distancing measures are in place
  3. Follow the rules on travelling distances – don’t travel further than is advised
  4. Book your beach clean as a private, closed event to avoid clashing with other beach cleans in the area - you can do this here
  5. Undertake a risk assessment in accordance with the Marine Conservation Society's guidelines
  6. Use gloves and litter pickers if possible, and wash your hands (or use sanitiser) frequently

Whether you’re on holiday or at home, it’s more important to ever to love where you live and where you stay. There are so many ways you can help protect the natural world, whether that’s taking the plastic challenge and reducing your waste, or heading for a beach clean or street clean at any time of the year. Find out more about how, as a business, we’re committed to protecting the spectacular British coast and countryside by clicking the button below. 


Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.