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.

 

2013 – Our Best Year Yet!


Hello and a very Happy New Year to you all!  2013 has been the best year yet for the Friends of Weston Shore and the following is a brief look back at our escapades over the last twelve months.

In April we held our first litter pick and beach clean up of the year. We were joined by new friends from Solent University who were there to film our clear up. They produced a wonderful short documentary about our work which you can view here:

It was a fun day and we managed to clear up a lot of rubbish from the shore.

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During the spring we were invited to have a stall at a fare run by our friends at Sholing Valleys. It was a great opportunity to spread the word about our activities.

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Later during the spring we had a group walk on Weston Shore to relax and enjoy the beauty of the area.  It was great to simply take in the sights and not tear round with a litter pick trying to pick up every drinks can or plastic straw that happened to catch the eye!

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On Sunday 4th August, we had our yearly Big Beach Clean Up and this was our most successful to date with around sixty people taking part.  It was rather windier than expected, which meant we had to take down our marquee to avoid it taking off parachute style! We are very grateful to all those who got involved in helping us keep the shore looking beautiful and clean.

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We were very pleased to be invited to take part in the Friends’ Forum which was a meeting of a number of the local groups in the Southampton area who carry out voluntary activities like ourselves and we are looking forward to being involved in further events with the Forum in the future.

We were also invited to the autumn fare at Sholing Valleys and again were delighted to meet new friends and share our enthusiasm for Weston Shore.

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In the autumn, our friends at Groundwork press ganged us into helping with a pirate themed event at the Pirates’ Playground on Weston Shore. This was great fun and much piratical malarkey was to be had. One local family were kind enough to come along with some cakes decorated with pirate motifs which was very much appreciated.  We are looking forward to a similar event next year, although we might run this during the summer in the hope that we have some better weather.

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Also in the autumn we ran another litter pick on Weston Shore and were lucky in having some beautiful autumnal sunshine to help us along. We cleared up a massive amount of rubbish including bits of old fireworks.  We are grateful for help from Southampton City Council with our clean ups.  During the autumn we were fortunate in receiving a donation of £100 from the Ford Britain Trust towards the costs of running the group and this was much appreciated.

In November, we had our Annual General Meeting and were delighted to welcome some new faces. We had a productive and useful meeting and have come up with a plan of action for 2014 to build on our success.  We are always looking for people to join us and our next meeting is on Thursday 30th January 2014 at 7pm at the Woolston Community Centre, 39 Weston Grove Road, Woolston, Southampton SO19 9FU. If you would like to come along please let us know by emailing westonshore@gmail.com or simply turn up on the day!