Three cheers for the stalwart litter picking volunteers of Hornsea

By Andrea Kirk, News Reporter

VOLUNTEER: Jay Norris with some of the litter collected on one of his litter collections
THE PEOPLE of Hornsea have expressed their frustration as the easing of lockdown sees large amounts of litter scattered on the town’s seafront.

Followers of the Hornsea Rant Facebook group expressed their exasperation. One commented: “While collecting litter yesterday evening, I discovered three used nappies left on the ground.” Another said: “Myself and my husband went for a walk on Sunday evening, and between us we must have removed one full bin bag of rubbish from the beach. It was so upsetting.”

There have been calls for more bins and bigger bins, however it has been noticed that despite some bins overflowing, others nearby remain almost empty.

Now as we mark National Volunteers Week, Hornsea volunteers have stepped up to rectify the problem to help to keep the beach litter free.

The Hornsea Urban Gardeners (HUG) have started a 6.30pm ‘rubbish walk’. June Greensmith from HUG explained: “This was to deal with the overflowing seafront bins. I contacted our ward councillors and asked them to speak to East Riding of Yorkshire Council to have extra bins located in hot spot areas which were identified the first night out on HUG Rubbish Walk. They did not let us down, they were delivered the next day. All we then had to do was decant the overflow into the newly installed bins. What was pleasing is the vast majority of visitors are taking litter to a bin, which is commendable and very much appreciated.” She stressed stuffing litter into an overflowing bin is not the answer, people need to dispose of rubbish responsibly.

“We must get the message out that if the bin is already full, move to the next nearest bin or take your litter home.”
Rubbish left next to bins can become strewn across the street and affect wildlife and can blow onto the beach and end up in the sea.

10-year-old Jay Norris from Hornsea is another of the many volunteers litter picking. Jay has been beach cleaning and litter picking for the last three years. He was inspired to start cleaning the beach, following a litter project at school whilst learning about the environment and plastic. Jay was awarded the ‘Young Community Champion’ award at the Hornsea community awards in February for his work.

Since the easing of lockdown, Jay has been picking litter from the beach with his litter picker and is hoping to raise money for Hornsea Inshore Rescue by being sponsored to do so.

Richard McIlwain, deputy chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy has made a plea for people to take their litter home as councils across the country struggle to cope with the problem.

He said: “The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted how much people across Britain value their local parks and green spaces and how vital they are for our physical and mental health. Now the government’s new guidelines allow people to spend more time in these precious spaces, we all need to do our bit to keep them clean and safe for everyone.

“Council staff across the country deserve all our thanks and support for the work they have been doing while we have been staying at home and now is the time when we can show them our gratitude by doing our bit. No one wants to see pictures of our beautiful parks and beaches strewn with litter and plastic pollution and we hope that everyone will heed this message and do their bit.”