Pupils from St Illtyd’s Roman Catholic School joined with Swansea University’s Science for Schools Scheme (S4), Oriel Science and volunteers from the Marine Conservation Society to take part Keep Wales Tidy’s All Wales Beach Clean at Bracelet Bay near Mumbles – and collected more than 4 kg of rubbish from the beach.
Armed with gloves and litter picks, the Year 5 and 6 pupils, staff and volunteers searched the small, rocky bay for plastic, litter and rubbish and collected bottle lids, cigarette butts, fishing wire and even part of a lawn mower.
S4’s Professor Mary Gagen said: “We were delighted to be able to support the All Wales Beach Clean for the Great British Beach Clean and Survey today. Young people are more aware than ever of plastic pollution - they hate it and they are willing to come out, get grubby and work hard to clear up a local beach.
“What is really fantastic about the Beach Clean Survey is that these hard-working students and members of the public are also contributing scientific data to the nationwide Marine Conservation Society Survey whilst they clean up. Everyone made a careful note of what they picked up, where they found it and how much there was. That information goes into a national survey, so we can keep track of the type of litter on our beaches and know where to concentrate efforts to reduce it.
“Reducing pollution isn’t just about mopping up the flood, it’s about turning off the tap, so we need this background data to do that. It’s a fantastic bit of citizen science!”
Damian Dalton, a teacher from St Illtyd’s said:"It has been a fun informative, and educational day with S4 and Oriel Science. The scientists from the University were engaging and brought the topic of recycling and protecting the environment to life.’’
Sophie, a Year 5 pupils from St Illtyd’s said: "We had a fantastic day and learnt a lot about the importance of recycling and the damage that litter can do to our beaches, the wildlife and the oceans.’’
Volunteer Mary Matthews, said: “What a great way to spend an afternoon, knowing that you are playing a very small part in what is a very big problem. Having travelled to many parts of the world where there is plastic pollution, I would not like to see our Gower beaches facing similar issues in the future.”
“The chance to visit a beach is also an important opportunity for young students to learn about our beautiful coastal environment and S4 team members joined the St Illtyd’s pupils on a quick explore of the rockpools that cover the bay, spotting crabs, whelks, and sea urchins, further highlighting the abundance of coastal life that rubbish impacts upon.”
- Thursday 4 October 2018 16.58 BST
- Thursday 4 October 2018 16.14 BST
- Swansea University