Volunteers give the Exe Estuary a spring clean

Posted on: 18 May 2017

More than 100 volunteers filled a skip full of rubbish collected from the internationally important Exmouth Local Nature Reserve on Saturday (May 13).

And this year there was a notable reduction in the amount of litter found on the Exe Estuary when compared with previous clean-ups.

Organised by the Exe Estuary Management Partnership, which includes local authorities like Devon County Council,  Exeter City Council and Teignbridge and East Devon District Councils, the clean-up ensures that the area is ready for summer visitors and wildlife.

This year’s volunteers collected a variety of objects ranging from the  dangerous to the unusual to the mundane.

Collected rubbish included tyres, a set of dentures,  shoes, a vintage 16oz Marmite jar from the early 1900s and fishing nets.

Fishing nets are potentially dangerous because wildlife can drown or starve once they become ensnared.

Several local businesses offered their help starting with free refreshments from McDonalds on Salterton Road, prior to the clean.

Following a couple of hours of hard work, volunteers made their way over to The GWRSA Railway Club, to have a well-deserved hot drink.

After the clean-up volunteers tucked into a hot fish supper generously supplied by Tim and Kelly Barnes, owners of the award-winning Krispies Fish & Chips in Exmouth.

Volunteers were then treated to a free cruise courtesy of Stuart Line Cruises.

Exe Estuary Officer, Stephanie Clark, said:

“For so many people to give up their Saturday to take care of this special place is tremendous and shows real community spirit.
“This was the 19th clean-up and this year we have seen a notable reduction in the amount of rubbish on the Local Nature Reserve.
“This reduction is a result of the hard work of volunteers, as well as the changing attitudes of people towards littering. This reduction in litter improves the health of the natural environment, removing hazards for both wildlife and people who use the estuary.”

David Shawyer, McDonald’s franchisee said: 

“As a local businessman, with customers and employees in Exmouth, I was delighted to have the opportunity to support this really worthwhile event, both through providing refreshments for all those involved and by getting hands-on, alongside our own ten volunteers.”

Kelly Barnes, owner of Krispies said:

“I have never done the beach clean before and it was a fabulous community event as well as being a really good day out for the family. We will be sponsoring September’s beach clean but if we weren’t I would go along anyway!”

  • The next clean-up will take place in September. Volunteers should contact the Exe Estuary Officer at exeestuary-mailbox@devon.gov.uk or 01392 382236. If any other businesses or organisations would like to support our future events, please get in touch.

Posted in: Community | Environment