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

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.


Our next meeting – Thursday 18th February 7pm

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 18th February 2016 at 7pm and the venue is Woolston Community Centre, Church Road, Woolston, Southampton, SO19 9FU.  Everybody is welcome to join us!

We will be discussing our beach clean ups for the year, including our Big Beach Clean Up set for Sunday 17th July.  We will also be discussing our Wildlife Survey Report that we have received from ecologist Phil Budd.

Please do join us as you will be very welcome.

Winter Walk with Southampton Natural History Society

Shortly after Christmas, the Southampton Natural History Society and the Hampshire Ornithological Society had a walk along Weston Shore to take in the view and to spot any winter birds in the area.

We walked from the car park opposite the entrance to Westwood, along the shore up to Weston Yacht Club and then across the Conkerfield up to Netley Abbey.

It became clear that with the expertise in the group, they were able to spot a number of birds that others might have missed.  Collections of small birds were spotted in the trees lining the Weston Shore Link and the birds spotted included the long-tailed tit, goldcrest, redwing and even a buzzard.

The group later walked up into Westwood and sadly I had to leave them at that point.  It had been a really enjoyable stroll and it’s great that these nature groups take an interest in our beautiful beach. Some photos are included here; not of the birds we saw unfortunately as I wasn’t quick enough with my camera!

Looking back on 2015 for Friends of Weston Shore…

It has been a busy year that has seen the Friends of Weston Shore taking part in new areas of activity to advance our goals.

In February the group helped Southampton City Council in planting a number of sea buckthorns on the shore near Weston Yacht Club to help with sea defences. We were very pleased to take part as this was a bit different for us.

On a rather cold weekend in May we undertook a wildlife survey on Weston Shore. We were ably guided by Phil Budd from the Southampton Natural History Society and we found a number of interesting specimens including the Manila Clam, Irish Moss and Sea Beet. The group greatly values Phil’s time and effort in helping us learn more about the wildlife to be found on the shore. We have commissioned Phil to produce a report on the wildlife to be found on the shore and have been excited about receiving this.


The Friends of Weston Shore on the inter-tidal mudflats


May 2015 was particularly busy as we then had two litter picks on the shore in quick succession. The larger was in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Society and Marks & Spencer plc and lots of people were there to help take part. An interesting observation was that the beach further up towards Netley seemed more litter strewn than that the end towards Woolston.

A volunteer litter picker at Weston Shore

We had our own litter pick on the shore later in the month on a beautiful day and were joined by a local community group of eager volunteers.   The clean ups are having a positive effect on the shore especially alongside Richard’s regular litter picking.

The group was represented at the Southampton Bio-Blitz that took place at the University of Southampton. It was useful being there to show our support, to spread the word about the group and to network with other local groups including Sholing Valleys Study Centre and the Friends of Chessel Bay.

Richard and I went along for our annual walk along the shore in late June and as usual we seemed to time this to coincide with the rowing club’s annual regatta. During the walk we met a man who was a frequent visitor to the shore taking photos of the wildlife to be found there. He had told us of the time he had seen a deer by the pitch and putt course and on another occasion, a buzzard flying overhead.


After some preparations we then held our annual Big Beach Clean Up on Saturday 8th August on a blazingly sunny Saturday. It was an enjoyable day and the pirate theme added a touch of fun for both us and our wonderful volunteers, especially the children. This was heightened even further when Chris Smith, our deputy vice-chair, donned his fabulous parrot costume! Another special guest was award-winning sport volunteer John Sennett who was keen to try litter picking as a new type of volunteering.

Although the clean up had been a great day with lots of litter cleared up, attendance was lower than previous years and we wondered if this was because it was on a Saturday in contrast to our normal day of Sunday.   Another question for the group was whether we continue to use a pirate theme for the event and whether next year we also attempt to attract more families with children to the litter pick.

In October we were joined by new friends from Southampton Solent University in a beach clean up on a beautiful autumn day at the shore.   They were very enthusiastic and we managed to clear up a large amount of rubbish.


In November, our autumn litter pick was cancelled due to wet weather, although this did n’t hold Richard back from clearing up a number of bags of rubbish from the Conkerfield, for which we are very grateful.

Overall the year has been a busy one and it has been exciting seeing our aim of learning more about the wildlife on the shore develop. I hope this is something that continues to grow as we move into 2016!

Adam Manning

Friends of Weston Shore

19th December 2015

A Beach Clean Up with Southampton Solent University!

On a wonderfully sunny autumn day in October, the Friends of Weston Shore were joined by a group of energetic and cheerful volunteers from the Student Union at Southampton Solent University.

We had a great day cleaning up rubbish from Weston Shore. As usual, we found a large number of cotton buds. Please remember, don’t throw these down the toilet as the plastic straw bit could end up on a beach somewhere. We also managed to find a broken scooter that someone decided to just discard on the shore.

It was great meeting new friends who were keen to help with out goal of clearing up the beach.  We are always looking for new volunteers so if you would like to join us please contact us!

Click on any of the images below for a closer look.


Our Annual General Meeting – Thursday 3rd December 2015 7pm

Our Annual General Meeting for 2015 is set for this Thursday 3rd December 2015 at 7pm at Woolston Community Centre, Church Road, Woolston, Southampton, SO19 9FU.

Please join us as we look back over 2015 and ahead to 2016!

For more details please contact us on

Our draft agenda for the meeting is set out below:

Friends of Weston Shore AGM 2015

Thursday 3rd December 2015 at Woolston Community Hall, Church Road, Woolston, Southampton, SO19 9FU

  1. Roll Call and apologies
  1. Wildlife Briefing from Phil Budd
  1. Chair’s review of 2015
  1. Treasurer’s Report
  1. Notes from the Secretary
  1. Election of Officers and the Committee
  1. Looking ahead to 2016
  1. Litter picks
  1. Funding
  1. A new website
  1. The shelters
  1. Discounts from local traders
  1. Meeting dates for 2016
  1. Bio-blitz and wildlife surveys

14. Any other business