LETTERS From Lydia Fulleylove, Shorwell:
On the weekend of June 7 and 8, some fishermen camped on the beach at Shepherds Chine (Atherfield Bay).
When I returned to the beach on the following Tuesday, I noticed that where their tents had been all their rubbish had been abandoned, some thoughtfully stuffed into plastic carrier bags, some, like even more lager cans, a vodka bottle, plastic bottles, polystyrene take away packaging, a ‘throw away’ foil barbecue, plastic wrapping, empty plastic bags and lots of used tissue/toilet paper, was simply lying where the tents had been.
Another thoughtful attempt had even been made to burn a few of the plastic bottles, clearly ignorant of the fact that you can’t remove plastic by burning it on a beach fire.
The only discarded rubbish which I - unusually - didn’t find this time were fish hooks and fishing lines. Who or what did these people think was going to ‘take away’ their rubbish?
Next day I returned to remove the rubbish. It took two bin bags and three carrier bags.
This is not an isolated incident. It happens almost every time that people come here to fish, and that’s pretty often. This beach is a beautiful and even wild place. I am struggling to understand why some of these people who bother to visit it can treat it with such contempt. At best, you could say that they’re mindless and ignorant, at worst that they simply don’t care about the damage they do to the environment – to the seabirds who end up fatally tangled in wire or with hooks down their throats, - to the destruction of marine life across the planet as plastic enters the sea.
If it still isn’t possible through education to develop respect and love for the earth and its creatures, then surely at least a minimal practical partial solution could be attempted? If the council can manage to put in a sign warning people about being cut off by the tide, it should be possible to put bins at the top of the chine, and a notice reminding people to use them or take their rubbish home, with a reminder that littering is a fineable offence.
And please, please, could all supermarkets/shops on the island, stop giving away free plastic bags?