Direct action does work!
Sat around drinking in our local bar, we were lamenting the effect tourists have been having on our beautiful village. Over the past few years, the cleanliness and tidiness of the beach and surrounding areas had steadily declined and it had become noticeably shabby and unpleasant.
Many visitors, both local and international, have been spending lots of time on the beach, but clearly not making any effort to tidy up after themselves. Not only was the beach polluted with lots of rubbish, the parking areas and the access roads had all suffered as people dump their rubbish as they leave, not bothering to use the bins provided. This was exacerbated by the local council moving the bin area further away from the beach (and making them less accessible) and the 'cleansing' department not being as diligent as they should be.
Talking through it, we realised that complaining alone, no matter how vociferous, would probably get us nowhere and relying on the local council to resolve the issues would be a lengthy (and potentially pointless) exercise. We then decided to take matters into our own hands and what a journey it has been so far! A Facebook group was set up and it quickly gained a lot of traction. Since it was set up in August 2018, it has grown to over 200 members and has made amazing progress. 'Litter-picks' are set up for every Sunday (assuming the weather is good) and mid-week litter-picks, where we can fit them in. We initially got a lot of bemused looks and derisive comments from the locals but this rapidly changed when we started to produce results. Groups of 6-10 people have been regularly getting involved, worked very hard and have really made a difference.
The effect of this group has been extraordinary! Tons of rubbish have been removed so far and the areas already covered, look so much better, people are really beginning to take notice.
The direct action taken by the group has clearly embarrassed the local Council and re-mobilised them, things are beginning to change. We will continue to get things done and we'll keep lobbying, come and join us.
A massive thanks to all those who have taken part so far and to those who have driven our efforts. Just shows what we can achieve, when we make the effort.
Our 'Gang' on Sunday the 25th of November 2018 and just part of our haul...
Someone had dumped a load of cardboard at the side of the bins in the car park, we set about properly disposing of it. Not a pleasant job, but very satisfying when we saw the result. We're now lobbying for the Refuse team to clean up around the bins, when they empty them.