The Great British Beach Clean is coming to East Sussex, starting in September!

Some of our best-loved marine wildlife is under threat from the waste and litter in our seas, with hundreds of species accidentally eating or becoming entangled in litter. It’s also dangerous for people and damaging to our tourism and fishing industries.

Beachwatch is the Marine Conservation Society’s national beach cleaning and litter surveying programme, helping people all around the UK to care for their coastline.

East Sussex beaches

The more of us that get involved, the more chance we have to turn the tide on litter, and here in East Sussex, you can join an event, or organise your own, and be part of the most influential fight against marine litter in the UK!

Get involved


What to bring on the day

photo by Natasha Ewins

Gloves, litter pickers and bin bags are often provided, but it’s best to check with the individual organisers (on link above) to see what equipment is provided and what you need to bring. And it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast and wear clothes appropriate for the conditions and the job in hand.

You might want to bring your own refreshments with drinks (in a re-usable bottle!) as well as some hand sanitiser.

Some events ask you to book a place in advance so they know how much equipment to bring.

Why beach clean?

photo by Natasha Ewins

  • Millions of tonnes of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year. Plastic can last for thousands of years, slowly breaking down into harmful micro-plastics.
  • Plastic debris hurts and kills seabirds, marine mammals and fish.
  • You can make a real difference because every piece of litter you remove from a beach is one less eyesore and gets counted by the Marine Conservation Society to build a picture of the state of our beaches.
  • The data collected helps the Marine Conservation Society continue helping to change public behaviours and national legislation when it comes to coastline litter.
  • By actively taking part, we can affect the behaviour of those around us, prompting people to think about their use of plastic.
  • The holidays may be drawing to a close, but if the event falls on a weekend or is outside of school hours, then it’s a great way to involve your kids in recycling, issues surrounding use of plastic and beach life.
  • Being in the great outdoors, getting fresh air and a bit of exercise.
  • Of course you won’t only find litter. If you’re lucky you’ll find washed-up treasures such as a mermaid’s purse, which could have a baby shark inside! And you might spot birds you’ve never seen before, like turnstones, oystercatchers or cormorants. Discover the wonderful sea creatures that inhabit the UK seas and shores on the Marine Conservation Society’s website. The Sussex Wildlife Trust also has useful guides to regional birds that you might come across.
  • Being in a group of like-minded people – a spot of beach cleaning is the perfect opportunity to meet up with your local community.
  • Get that feel-good factor from helping  protect wildlife and the environment.
  • Take part in a massive event – almost 7,000 people took part

    in the Great British Beach Clean in September 2017.

  • Help look after Your East Sussex.

Take part this autumn and help remove litter from our beautiful East Sussex beaches:

Warning from one volunteer: ‘Beach cleaning is addictive. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll find it almost impossible to stop picking up litter afterwards, wherever you are, not just on the beach!

Recycling at home

Tips on reducing your waste and where to recycle can be found on the East Sussex County Council website.


photo by Natasha Ewins