Phone: 01394 445225 | Email: [email protected]

Beachwatch 2020 Results

Volunteers collecting litter from a beach

Volunteers at the Trimley Beach Clean (Photo credit: Gill Moon)

This year our Beachwatch results are very different as events were cancelled or scaled down due to Covid-19.

Most Beachwatch events that took place were in September for the Great British Beach Clean. Many individuals and families who walked along the coast and estuaries on their daily exercise picked up litter.

The results of the litter surveys carried out by volunteers in Suffolk and north Essex, as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s Beachwatch scheme, show that 326 kg of litter was cleared from the coast & estuaries in the AONB.

We are very grateful to everyone for their valuable contribution in helping to look after the Coast and Heaths AONB and wider marine environment.

Key Beachwatch Facts

  • 25 litter surveys were carried out on
  • 25 beaches which equates to 2.95km
  • 158 volunteers took part in Beachwatch surveys
  • 7,161 items of litter were recorded
  • 73.1% of litter collected was made of plastic or polystyrene
  • 579 plastic food wrappers were collected

Dedham Vale Youth Rangers doing a Great British Beach Clean at Mistley

Suffolk Yacht Harbour beach clean (Photo credit: Gill Moon)

Top 10 Litter Items

9 out of the top 10 litter items in the AONB were of plastic composition:

  1. Plastic / Polystyrene Pieces (0-50cm) - 2,815 items found
  2. Packets: crisp/sweet/ lolly / sandwich - 579 items found
  3. Cigarette stubs - 561 items found
  4. Plastic caps / lids - 257 items found
  5. Cotton bud sticks - 228 items found
  6. String - 162 items found
  7. Drink Cans - 150 items found
  8. Food containers - 126 items found
  9. Fishing line - 117 items found
  10. Bag ends - 106 items found

For more information on any of the volunteering opportunities and roles within the AONB, please contact Countryside Officers Neil Lister or Emma Black.