Whitburn beach clean rubbish will become a work of art

Volunteers, left to right, Rachael Forster, Victoria Humble, Louise Hopkins and Abi Forster, take part in the beach clean at Whitburn Beach.
Volunteers, left to right, Rachael Forster, Victoria Humble, Louise Hopkins and Abi Forster, take part in the beach clean at Whitburn Beach.
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A clean up of Whitburn beach saw 30 black liners of rubbish collected in just one hour.

The beach clean was organised by ORCA Community Wildlife Officer, Rachael Forster, in conjunction with Louise Hopkins BDMLR (British Divers Marine Life Rescue) Mammal medic and co-founder, Victoria Humble (co–founder of beach clean at Whitburn Bents); the Marine Conservation Society and ReNewcastle volunteers and was supported by Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry operator, DFDS.

The collected rubbish had a cumulative weight in excess of 450kg and included bottles, caps and a number of dummies along with clothes, fishing equipment and a wheel hub. A £20 note also found by a volunteer was donated to ORCA.

The aim of the day was to raise awareness of the litter on beaches and the effects this can have on the marine wildlife in our seas. Rubbish collected on this and future beach cleans will be washed and used by DFDS’ artist-in-residence Izzy Moreau to create a life-sized harbour porpoise sculpture that will go on display in the ORCA Wildlife Centre onboard DFDS cruise ferry, King Seaways, on March 23.

Rachael said: “With all this harmful marine litter on our coastlines we hope that our concept of turning it into something beautiful and positive will help get across a strong marine conservation message to both those living locally and the international passengers who sail with DFDS across the North Sea. We look forward to seeing the finished article and using it as part of our education activity onboard; this certainly is a porpoise with a purpose!”

Anyone wanting to take part in future beach cleans can contact Rachael at rachael.forster@orcaweb.org.uk.