Looking back on 2016 for the Friends of Weston Shore…

It’s been another busy year for the Friends of Weston Shore and we’ve been very active in our goal of keeping the shore as clean as we can.

Shortly after Christmas last year, the Southampton Natural History Society included Weston Shore in one of their nature walks in the area. This involved walking up the shore and through the Conker Field in Netley and it was a good opportunity to view the area as part of the larger picture. Thanks to Phil for inviting us.

Also thanks to Phil, the group produced a large number of copies of our Wildlife Survey of Weston Shore and we are now in the process of distributing this to the local universities, colleges and schools. Part of our plan is that the Wildlife Survey can be used as the basis for posters, leaflets and booklets about the wildlife to be found on our shore.

The first of this year’s litter picks took place in May of this year and we noticed that a large number of cuttlefish and carrots had been washed upon the shore. This clean up was just for the group and was followed in the middle of July by our traditional, annual Big Beach Clean Up.

In the Big Beach Clean Up, we continued our pirate theme from last year and it was a pleasure to see more families getting involved. We reverted to holding this on a Sunday as before and attendance was good, helped by a day of warm weather.

This was followed by a late summer beach clean at the end of August, on a day of blazing sunshine. This was with volunteers from the Environment Agency, who were there as part of their Corporate Responsibility Policy. They were very enthusiastic and it was one of the longest litter picks the group has helped with.

We had a further litter pick in the middle of October and this was part of the Southampton Sustainability Week programme of events. We were joined by friends from the Bitterne Litter Team and Surfers Against Sewage, along with the Student Union from Solent University. This included a number of journalism students, who prepared news reports on the day’s events. It had threatened to rain, but luckily this kept away for the duration of the beach clean.   One of the volunteers had come all the way from Crawley to take part!

Looking ahead, we have our Educational Packs to finalise and the group has been discussing the possibility of fund raising for further projects connected with Weston Shore.

We also hope to continue learning more about the wildlife to be found on the shore and developing a wider appreciation and understanding of this.

If you would like to find out more or get in touch, please contact us at : westonshore@gmail.com.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Autumn Beach Clean

In the middle of October, the Friends of Weston Shore were delighted to hold another beach clean, this time with friends from the Bitterne Litter Team, the Student Union at Solent University and Surfers Against Sewage. The beach clean was part of Southampton’s Sustainability Week.

It had threatened to rain earlier in the day but thankfully the elements managed to stay kind to us while our volunteers bravely took part.  We were very impressed by the number of people who were keen to take part and how enthusiastic they were.

Our friends from Solent University included a number of journalism students and they produced this professional news report from the beach clean.

You can read their full report and look at their photos here:


For more photos, have a look at our gallery below. Click on the photos for a closer look.

During the litter pick, our volunteers were able to clean up a large number of bags of rubbish. We noted that we had cleared up 115 plastic bottles, several glass bottles for perfume, a library book and a walking stick along with all the usual crisp packets, drink cans, cotton buds and wet wipes. Thanks to all those who took part!


The Environment Agency cleans up!

At the end of August, we were delighted to play host to a very keen group of volunteers from the Environment Agency. They were there as part of their organisation’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy  and they were undoubtedly one of the most energetic and enthusiastic group of volunteers we’ve welcomed to the shore.

We covered the whole stretch of the shore that we cover, from Southampton Sailing Club up to Netley Castle.  The Friends of Weston Shore are very grateful to them for all their hard work, which made a huge difference. It was a really lovely, sunny late summer day as well.

The following is a gallery of photos from the day – click on any of them for a closer look.

Big Beach Clean Up 2016!

In July we had our annual Big Beach Clean Up and this year was one of our most successful.  We had perfect weather for the event and lots of families and children joined us to clean up the shore.

The Friends of Weston Shore got dressed up in piratical gear to add to the fun and lots of pirate certificates and gifts were handed out to our participants. We were joined by our friends Councillor Sue Blatchford, Royston Smith MP and one of the longest term members of the Friends of Weston Shore, Councillor Warwick Payne.

Soon, a huge amount of rubbish had been cleared up and we were able to look back and see how clean the shore was afterwards. Thanks so much to everyone who took part. Special thanks to Southampton City Council for their kind assistance which makes the Big Beach Clean Up a possibility.

Our next meeting is on Thursday 22nd September, 7pm at Woolston Community Centre, Church Road, Woolston, Southampton, SO19 9FU. Please contact us at westonshore@gmail.com if you would like to come along or turn up on the day.

Below is a gallery of photos from the Big Beach Clean Up 2016 – click on the photos for a better look.

Cuttlefish and Carrots

A recent Sunday in May saw the Friends of Weston Shore spring into action once more and clear up a large amount of rubbish from the beach.

Finds of the day included lots of cotton buds and cans as usual.  The Friends noted a lot of cuttlefish washed up on the shore and, for some reason, an equally surprising amount of carrots.  We could only surmise that the carrots may have come from one of the cruise liners in Southampton at present. Perhaps a crate of them had been washed overboard in an accident.

Ian from Friends of Weston Shore found a cushion that appeared to be part of a settee washed up on the shore and bravely was able to haul this to our collection point. We concentrated on the area around the stream that crosses the shore near Westwood and in a few hours had helped the area look wonderfully pristine again.

The litter pick was great fun and we are now looking forward to our next one – the Big Beach Clean Up on Sunday 17th July 2016 starting at 10am near the Pitch & Putt course on Weston Shore, Southampton. We hope lots of people can join us on the day and look forward to seeing you then!


Wildlife Report for Friends of Weston Shore

The wildlife to be found on beautiful Weston Shore in Southampton is the focus of a new study commissioned by the local Friends group looking after the area. The Friends of Weston Shore’s report on the plants and animals has been written by professional Field Ecologist Philip Budd and is the result of many visits to the shore by Philip during 2015.

The Friends of Weston Shore’s report is centred on a list compiled by Philip of the species observed at the shore. In total, this is an astonishing 958 species of plants and animals! Weston Shore is clearly a rich habitat to be home to such a large and diverse range of species. This includes 21 species of butterfly, such as the Clouded Yellow, and 163 birds including the Stonechat and Common Whitethroat.   As well as being a beautiful place for people to visit, the report’s contents show how important Weston Shore is for nature.

The Friends of Weston Shore with their new Wildlife Report

The Friends of Weston Shore with their new Wildlife Report

Philip Budd, the author of the Wildlife Report

Philip Budd, the author of the Wildlife Report

The members of Friends of Weston Shore have been enjoying field trips to learn more about the wildlife to be found there with Philip. A walk along the shore with someone as knowledgeable as him highlights how the plants and animals live in an ecosystem. For example, small insects called coneheads (related to grasshoppers) live in the sea purslane found on the shore. As a group, the Friends have valued these visits and are hoping to have more in the future.

Copies of the survey are going to be made available soon so that more people can learn about the wildlife on Weston Shore and those who want to get invited are welcome to join the Friends of Weston Shore as they continue to find out more. The wildlife report was produced with help from Southampton City Council and Groundwork South.

For more information about the Friends of Weston Shore, please go to www.westonshore.wordpress.com, follow them on twitter at @WestonShore or find them on Facebook. You can contact the Friends of Weston Shore by sending an email to westonshore@gmail.com.

You can read the report by downloading it here :

Weston Shore Survey report for Friends of Weston Shore – Philip Budd – pdf format (1.71 MB)


The Big Beach Clean Up – Sunday 17 July 2016!

The crew of the Friends of Weston Shore are looking forward to this year’s Big Beach Clean Up, which is taking place on Sunday 17th July 2016.  We’ll be starting at 10am and carrying on until 1pm and the starting point will be near the Pitch and Putt Course on Weston Shore, near the On The Water Café.

It’s a great chance to get involved and help us in our quest to help keep beautiful Weston Shore as clean and litter free as we can.  Litter is of course unsightly and spoils what might be a wonderful, uplifting view of an area but it is also a serious problem for wildlife.  Birds and other sea life can get caught up in litter such as the plastic binding used for drinks’ cans.  Animals that live in the sea have been found to have eaten bits of the rubbish that ends up on our beaches.  By taking part in a litter pick you are helping to reduce this problem.


Adie Liddiard from Southampton’s Sunday Assembly on the left and Chris Hammond, City Councillor, on the right at a previous litter pick.

As well as the serious message, we also enjoy the litter pick and have a bit of fun dressing up as pirates.  If our volunteers want to get into spirit of things and dress up as well, that will add to the fun! Last year we had a number of children join in wearing fancy dress and we will have small pirate treats for children taking part (subject to availability).

A volunteer litter picker at Weston Shore.

The Friends of Weston Shore have been fascinated to learn more about the wildlife on the shore in recent years and we will have information about this available for those taking part in the litter pick as well. We are able to provide the equipment involved in the litter pick but those taking part should dress sensibly for the outdoors and in particular please wear appropriate footwear.

Please join us on the day and let’s hope for some good weather! If you would like more information about the litter pick please contact us at westonshore@gmail.com.

If you would like to help us run the Big Beach Clean Up, please join us for our next meeting on Thursday 19th May 2016 starting at 7pm, at the Woolston Community Centre, Church Road, Woolston, Southampton, SO19 9FU.  All help is greatly appreciated!

The Big Beach Clean Up takes place with the kind assistance of Southampton City Council and Groundwork South.