So here’s what I’m planning to do…
Starting in the north of the county at Lowestoft on Monday July 30th I’ll be travelling south along 12 Suffolk beaches over six days collecting as much litter as possible as I go.
I’m hoping to be joined by Wayne Dixon, the Keep Britain Tidy #LitterHeroes ambassador and his faithful companion Koda, a stunning
Northern Inuit dog. Wayne is part way through walking the entire coast of Britain and shares my passion for raising awareness about the growing problem of litter and single use plastics.
I have also teamed up with Anglian Water and the team behind
#2minutebeachclean to present 4 fully funded #2minutebeachclean boards to four locations along our route – Lowestoft, Southwold, Aldeburgh and Landguard Point Felixstowe. Each board will be presented at the start of that particular leg of the marathon with our marathon beach clean being the first official beach clean from each new board.
I’ll be posting a full itinerary of when and where we will be each day so if you happen to be in the area come and find us and say hi!
And this is the reason why I’m doing it…
There are two specific inspirations for this challenge.
The first is a previous challenge I set myself in 2014 – to watch and photograph 100 sunrises in a year. I quickly discovered that it was going to be tougher than I thought. Having lots of cloudy days here in the UK you have to get up early for a lot more than 100 sunrises to see the sun 100 times!
But I loved every minute of it. Being out in the fresh air, feeling the warm glow of the early morning sun on my face. Listening to the birds in the trees and watching the start of a brand new day. A day where anything was possible if I put my mind to it. You honestly can’t beat that feeling.
But there was something that increasingly bugged me.
Litter. Lots and lots of litter. Many of us have become blind to it, desensitised over time. But once you notice it and look for it, you see it everywhere.
Single use plastic in all its forms – plastic bottles, straws, fast food cups and wrappers, sweet wrappers, crisp packets, carrier bags. Empty cans of beer or energy drinks. Balloons with ribbons. The list goes on and on.
I started to do regular beach cleans, river cleans and street cleans, litter
picking on most of my walks. I shared my experiences via my Wildlife Gadget Man website and social media, hoping to inspire as many people as possible to do the same.
Having found yet another beautiful sea bird (Gannet) dead and tangled in plastic waste on one of my beach cleans I decided I needed to do more. So, I created a dedicated website called RubbishWalks.co.uk and launched #MyPlasticPromise.
The #MyPlasticPromise has three easy steps…
1. To try to use less single use plastic every day.
2. To go for a regular Rubbish Walk collecting litter along the way.
3. To try to encourage at least two other people to do the same.
You can find out lots more (and follow the full Beach Clean Marathon story) on my website www.rubbishwalks.co.uk.
The second inspiration for this challenge is a chap called Mat Bayfield. Back in 2012 Mat was diagnosed with a rare inoperable brain tumour on his brain stem. Having undergone extensive radiotherapy and regular MRI scans Mat has continued to tackle his condition with positivity and humour.
At the beginning of 2017 Mat, his wife Kelly and hundreds of friends new and old completed a walk somewhere in Suffolk every day during January raising over £20,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity.
There are very few people I can say have truly inspired me in my life, Mat is one of them.
I joined as many of the walks as I could but wanted to do more so I decided to combine my Rubbish Walks with raising donations and awareness for the invaluable work of The Brain Tumour Charity.
Thank you in advance for your kind support and donations.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.