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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Maritime Logistics Professional

Clean Me! How the 'Good Beaches' of the North East are Anything But

Posted to On the waterfront (by on November 10, 2009

Don't go to the beaches of the north east to see the castles and rare birds - you're more likely to see plastic bottles and an old shoe

For residents of Whitburn South in Sunderland, the 23 per cent decline in local beaches featured on the Good Beach this year comes as no surprise. 

This area of the north east of England has been famous for its beautiful coastline and unspoilt seashore landscapes for generations, with dramatic castles and unusual birds the only things people came to spot. The beaches of Bamburgh, Holy Island and Craster have long been tourist attractions for visitors and locals alike that appreciate the rugged beauty of the last English county before Scotland, Northumberland. 

Now, all this flowery language may be good for marketing campaigns for the region, but it’s certainly no good for the locals, who are up in arms about the state of their historic beaches, with their chilly, gloved fingers pointing firmly at the shipping and marine industries that use the natural resources of the sea for their own advantage. 

Rather than clear, North Sea waters lapping at the shoreline in the region, there has been an alarming amount of waste and sewage washed up on the beaches, not to mention the extraordinary levels of rubbish strewn across the water. 

A local resident is leading the campaign to bring awareness of the problem to the Government Environmental Agency. Bob Latimer is very vocal about the fact that the council is trying to show the beaches at their best, rather than being honest about the issues of health and safety that the waste matter causes. 

Of course, this will open up a potentially very costly dialogue with marine and shipping industry professionals that bring a great deal of revenue and employment to the region, although it may also be a welcome discussion for an industry that’s working hard to improve its public perception, especially regarding environmental issues.

Perhaps the only way to make the council take more notice would be to work out just how many valuable tourist pounds are being lost when visitors decide not to return after seeing sewage, rubbish and plastic on the beaches instead of the puffins and castles they were promised.