A Beach Clean with British Marine and friends

The Friends of Weston Shore were delighted to be part of a beach clean up and litter pick on Weston Shore on a bright summer morning recently.  We were joined by our friend Lesley Fitt from Sea Changers and volunteers from British Marine and the Southampton International Boat Show.  It was also good to meet Conrad Manning Racing at the shore as well.

Lots of people got involved and in only a short time a large amount of rubbish was collected.  We were particularly pleased to see a number of families taking part with young children, who were very welcome. Special thanks also to ITV Meridian and That’s Solent TV for visiting the beach clean up to find out more.


Big Beach Clean 2019 – Sunday 23rd June

We are really excited about this year’s Big Beach Clean Up which is this Sunday, 23rd June.

The litter pick will run from 10am to 1pm and the starting point will be near he Pitch and Putt Course on Weston Shore. We are hoping lots of volunteers join us to get stuck in and help clean up our beautiful beach.

The Friends of Weston Shore will be donning pirate attire for extra fun and we hope lots of volunteers do likewise!

Woolston Wastewater Treatment Works

from Georgie Webb, Friends of Weston Shore

Thanks to the help of Cllr Alex Houghton, three Friends of Weston Shore were able to join a group visit of the site on 24 June 2018.

This is a very short account of our visit, details can be found on the excellent Southern Water Site at “Woolston Wastewater Treatment Works” from which I am quoting.

We were welcomed by Ruth Thompsett (Engineer, Stakeholder and Community Relations Manager) who took us through the Health and Safety procedures and the work schedule with the help of the site map. Work started in 2014 and the construction process is expected to take 4 years to complete.

4Delivery (4D) a consortium comprising Veolia Water, Costain and MWH is carrying out the work on behalf of Southern Water.

After donning hard hats and goggles we followed Ruth, Mike Homer (Construction Manager) and Andy Soulsby (Field Performance Manager for Southern Water) through the site. The first thing to notice is the smell, referred to as “the odour” which has increased in the very hot weather; the second is the restricted size of the site, how tidy it is kept and the efforts of the constructors to protect residents from excessive noise. The scheme is progressing well, in January 2018 wastewater passed through the new equipment, a beautiful spotless stainless steel structure which will be covered over to contain/reduce the odour. Andy Soulsby proudly explained the process and showed us the result: clear water which is going into the river without ill effect to the environment.

Here I would like to urge all of us to stop throwing in the toilet anything but the three Ps: pee-poo-toilet paper. Not the dreaded wipes which together with FOG (Fats-Oils-Grease) in the sink cause so many problems to the sewer system.

We finished the tour by attending a meeting of the Woolston Community Liaison Group chaired by Cllr Warwick Payne and again I was impressed by the care shown by 4D and Southern Water. Ruth, Mike, Andy and the staff on the site came over as enthusiastic and proud professionals and we are lucky to have such a team to lead a very important development for the health of our community and environment.

There will be an Open Day in 2019 and I shall certainly attend.

Our Annual General Meeting – Thursday 7th June 2018

The Friends of Weston Shore are looking forward to our Annual General Meeting, which is on Thursday 7th June 2018 at the Woolston Community Centre, Church Road, Woolston, Southampton, SO19 9FU, starting at 7pm.

We would be delighted to meet new friends at our meeting, which is open to everyone, as we review what we’ve been up to and look ahead to the forthcoming year. In particular, we will be discussing the Big Beach Clean Up, which this year will be taking place on Sunday 24th June 2018, starting at 10am near the Pitch & Putt Course.

This is the draft agenda for the meeting at present:

  1. Review of the year so far
    1. Bird Aware Solent – 11th February
    2. Beach Clean with Surfers Against Sewage – 25th February
    3. FOSMAG talk
    4. Spring Beach Clean – 29th April
  2. Election of the Officers and the Committee
  3. Reportsfrom the Treasurer and Secretary
  4. The Big Beach Clean – Sunday 24th June 2018
  5. Autumn Litter Pick – 18th November 2018
  6. T-Shirts
  7. Leaflets
  8. Looking ahead – new projects
  9. Membership Fees, Registration and Renewals
  10. Growing the Group!
  11. Setting dates for 2019

We hope you can visit us and look forward to seeing you there! For more details, please contact us at westonshore@gmail.com.

A look back on 2017 – an amazing year!

A very Happy New Year to everyone! As the new year starts, this is a look back on 2017, which has been an amazing year for the Friends of Weston Shore.

Our first event of the year was a spring clean and litter pick on the shore with friends from Surfers Against Sewage. They were an enthusiastic bunch and we quickly cleared up a lot of rubbish. It was a sunny day and cleaning up the beach after the winter months was enjoyable fun.

During April 2017, the Friends of Weston Shore were honoured to be the recipients of the Southampton City Care for the Environment Award at the St George’s Day Community Awards held at Solent University.  To receive such kind recognition was a wonderful surprise for the group and the award was presented to the group by well known Southampton celebrity Lawrie McMenemy MBE and the Worshipful the Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Catherine McEwing.

We held our own spring clean litter pick on the shore in May and were joined by Bruce Larner, a volunteer who has helped several groups in the Southampton area.

We are regularly contacted by companies and organisations who want to help with our aim of making sure Weston Shore is as clean as possible and in June, new friends from the Royal Bank of Scotland did a great job of picking up lots of litter.  They were an energetic group and we are grateful for all their hard work.

In August, we were delighted to help with a special event on the shore, the Sea Life Discovery Day organised by Owain Masters from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.  Capturing Our Coast also participated in the full day event, looking at the plants and animals to be found on the shore. It was a wonderful day, helped with some lovely summer sunshine in the afternoon and thoroughly enjoyable.  We have a short vlog about the day, which you can watch here:


In September, we joined forces with the Marine Conservation Society as part of their Great British Beach Clean. This is a regular event run by the society with the help of volunteers, in which they carry out a survey of the litter to be found on the shore. We were again, as we often are, helped by a day of sunshine and it was great to see so many people getting involved. The survey is important in understanding what, exactly, ends up on our shores and has helped highlight the dangers of plastic debris.

The next event, in what was a very busy year for us, was another beach clean up on the shore – the biggest one ever!  This was part of the Autumn Beach Clean campaign from Surfers Against Sewage. Volunteers from Southampton Greenpeace, Solent Students’ Union and the Marine Conservation Society from the University of Southampton also took part. In total, we estimate around seventy people were involved and a huge amount of rubbish was cleared up. Special thanks to Mairin Williams from Surfers Against Sewage for all her hard work in organising the event.

Last year, 2017, has been a very busy one for the group and special thanks to all our volunteers for the invaluable work they do.  Being a volunteer is not only satisfying, its also great fun. As well as our core aim of trying to keep the shore as clean as possible, we are also learning more about the precious wildlife on the shore.

We hope more that more people can join us as we look forward to 2018! We are hoping for another action packed year and continuing to learn more about the shore and the wildlife that lives there. If you would like to get involved, please contact us at westonshore@gmail.com.


Record Breaking Beach Clean at Weston Shore!

A recent Saturday morning saw a huge crowd of seventy volunteers taking part in the biggest clean up and litter pick on Weston Shore to date. The event, part of the Autumn Beach Clean series of events organised by Surfers Against Sewage, saw people from far and wide taking part, including eager participants from the Marine Conservation Society at the University of Southampton, Southampton Greenpeace, Solent University’s Student Union and Friends of Weston Shore.

In a few short hours, this army of keen beach combers cleared up roughly fifty bags of rubbish, including a sack of cement. The Friends of Weston Shore were delighted to be involved in Surfers Against Sewage’s fantastic campaign and are grateful to everyone who took part in helping with our ongoing campaign to try and keep the beach as clean and litter free as possible. Special thanks are due to Mairin Williams for all her energy and interest in our shore and also Cliff Culver from Surfers Against Sewage for taking part and talking about his interest in sea glass and its beauty.  As always, our thanks to Southampton City Council, without whose help the beach cleans would not be possible, and in particular Martin Wilcox and his colleagues.

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Friends of Weston Shore – AGM

Our Annual General Meeting this year is on Thursday 30th November at 7pm, Woolston Community Centre, Church Road, Woolston, Southampton, SO19 9FU. We’ve had an amazing year, the highlights of which include being awarded the Southampton City Care for the Environment Award, the Sea Life Discovery Day and having the largest litter pick ever on the shore earlier this month.

Come and visit us and help us look forward to 2018 and plan the year ahead. Its free to attend and there will be tea, coffee and biscuits!

You can also find this event on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/events/478695582529969/

Hope to see you there!

Autumn Beach Clean with Surfers Against Sewage and Solent University Student Union

There’s another great chance to help us clean up the beach on Saturday 14th October 2017 between 11am and 2pm.  The Friends of Weston Shore are teaming up with Surfers Against Sewage and Solent University Student Union and we are looking forward to seeing lots of people on the shore to help. This event is part of Surfers Against Sewage’s Autumn Beach Clean campaign and we are delighted that they have included our beautiful beach.

The starting point will be near the Pitch and Putt Course and the On the Water Café on Weston Shore, Weston Parade, Southampton.  We hope that you can join us. Litter picking is easy, fun work and to look back afterwards and see the beach looking beautifully clean is a wonderful feeling.

For more details, have a look at the Surfers Against Sewage’s Facebook page for the event:


Our next meeting – Thursday 31st August 2017

Our next meeting is set for 7pm on Thursday 31st August 2017 at Woolston Community Centre, Church Road, Woolston, Southampton, SO19 9FU.

We will be joined by a special guest from Bird Aware Solent to talk about what they do and how we might be able to work together.  You are very welcome to visit our meeting and will be very welcome.

We shall all be discussing our future plans, including our next litter pick, which is Saturday 16th September starting at 11am.  This litter pick is with our friends from the Marine Conservation Society and will start from the car park on Weston Parade opposite to the entrance on Westwood (that is the end of the shore nearest to Netley).