New scheme launched to keep the coastline clean

A NEW scheme has been launched to help keep Northumberland’s coastline clean and damage-free.

Developed by a partnership of agencies, Coastal Watch will work by encouraging residents, volunteers and regular beach users to report incidents of anti-social behaviour and other activities that lead to litter or damage to the area.

A credit card-sized leaflet will provide volunteers with details of how to contact each relevant body to report or discuss incidents and they will also be issued with an notebook to record the details.

The initiative has been developed and is supported by the Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership, Northumberland County Council, the National Trust and the Safer Northumberland Partnership, which are providing funding for the scheme.

The areas that the pilot project covers include Cresswell and Druridge Bay and if it is successful, it will be rolled out to other areas next year.

Chairman of the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership Pat Scott said: “We don’t want to be killjoys and want people to have fun when visiting the coast, but we do find instances where people don’t appreciate the mess that they are leaving behind, or the negative impact that their actions can have on the environment and wildlife.

“We are appealing to local residents and regular users of beaches and the coast to help us by reporting indents to the relevant authorities so that appropriate action can be taken.”

Those taking part will also be asked to look out for other things of concern, such as stranded seals or sea mammals which might need the attention of the RSPCA.

The leaflets are available from site wardens, coastal tourist information centres and libraries and from Northumberland County Council on 0845 6006400 or by email at environment@northumberland.gov.uk

For more information about the scheme telephone Iain Robson on 01665 511206.