Last week, we headed back to Llandudno for our second Beach Clean with the Marine Conservation Society. Due to a couple of Covid cases, we had no Gappies on this trip, so we used it as a chance to get used to the process on our own. It’s not just picking up stuff and putting in a bag, everything must go into a category so the MCS know where it’s from.

We had to pick a different 100m stretch to last time as this was our first official clean and another group had staked a claim to our previous place. That was a sandy stretch just right of the pier and it was full of litter, so I can’t blame them for claiming it. You couldn’t look at the floor without spotting some litter. An hour of cleaning that section whizzed by as you barely had a moment to check the time. There was just so much litter.

Our new stretch was the opposite end of the beach, taking a hundred metres left from the paddling pool. This was some new terrain, big stones. Not only did this make it a little treacherous underfoot, but litter was much more of a challenge to find too. This sounds like a positive as we really want less litter on our beaches, but my competitive mind was a little disappointed. Also, as Ffion from MCS told us, the litter was still there, it had just fallen through the cracks between the rocks, so it took a little digging to find it.

This time around, we didn’t find anything near the ‘114 cigarette butts’ level of litter of last time, but after a lot of scouring, we took away 1kg of unwanted material from the beach. It seemed like a lot more fishing and industrial waste was collected at this end whereas the public littering happened at the other end. Our biggest and most interesting finds were a football and a dead seagull. It seemed sad to put the football in the bin as it was still usable, if a little battered. However, were it left there, it could just end up back in the sea instead of gaining another life if someone else found it. We could only hope that the people that sort our recycling may find it and bring it home for themselves. The seagull did not get collected as we’re only out to collect manufactured waste. It looked peaceful, laying there on the beach as if it were asleep. It was certainly dead though as some kids had given it a good prodding to check. Ffion took note of it to alert a person more qualified than us to deal with it safely.

As is now our tradition, we took ourselves to Dylan’s, a nearby restaurant, for a hot drink and to log our results. Last time it was on the house due to our good deeds for the community with our clean. This time, however, we only got one free drink and that was only due to an unfortunate sauce spillage by one of the waiters. Perhaps we didn’t make our good deed obvious enough. We’re not doing it for that though and we’ll be back to Llandudno again with some Gappies soon. This time with a new 100m, a sandier one to ensure we leave with some hefty bags of litter.

We forgot to take a picture this time, so the eagle eyed amongst you might recognise this from last time!

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