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Petition to 'clean our stinking beaches'

By West Briton  |  Posted: October 16, 2012

  • Castle Beach Seaweed Clean. The cleaning team on Castle beach with Bruce Hobbs (Husband of Rosemary Ridette Gregory) at the front. Pic: Toby Weller Ref: TRTW20121007A-003_C

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A PETITION has been set up calling on Cornwall Council to rethink its beach-cleaning policy and remove "stinking, rotting" seaweed.

Rosemary Ridette-Gregory, of the Falmouth and District Hoteliers' Association, set it up in response to a decision to stop the cleaning this year.

The association has already organised clean-ups at Castle Beach to remove what it considers a health hazard which is affecting tourism, including one at the weekend.

She said: "With the new general waste and recycling contract Cornwall Council have tried to save money by no longer removing seaweed from easily accessible beaches, often with a Blue Flag.

"With the adverse weather Cornwall has had this summer, some of those beaches are now covered with up to three feet of rotting, stinking seaweed.

"Cornwall Council chose this year to rewrite their waste management plan and contract for beach cleaning with the result they have stopped cleaning dead seaweed off beaches.

"The result is Cornwall's beaches are now covered with hundreds of cubic metres of dead seaweed.

"This vegetation attracts flies, which lay eggs, and within a week the seaweed is crawling with maggots.

"If there is no higher tide for a few weeks the seaweed just stays there, smelling and looking horrible.

"Obviously no one wants to use beaches with that on and if this continues the policy will do great harm to our tourist industry and the enjoyment of local people."

Click here to see the petition.

It already has 100 signatures and Mrs Ridette-Gregory hopes more will sign.

"In Falmouth we have been attempting to keep just one beach in a reasonable state."

Mayor Geoffrey Evans is due to meet with Cornwall Council and the beach warden today to discuss the matter.

Alongside the beach clean on Sunday, six divers, organised by Mark Milburn of Atlantic Scuba, collected rubbish from underwater at the beach, returning with 16kg of rubbish.

The debris included plastic carrier bags, fishing net, broken bottles, perspex and rope. The details were sent to Project Aware and the Marine Conservation Society through the British Sub Aqua Club.

Now nicknamed the "Falmouth Scuba Wombles", their next underwater litter pick is planned for November 11 at Pendennis. To take part visit the divers' Facebook group, falmouthscubawombles.

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  • caliwag  |  October 21 2012, 10:51AM

    But from the greenbuildingforum.co.uk http://tinyurl.com/9yq3ar9

  • 1newlyn  |  October 17 2012, 6:32AM

    Duh ! seaweed is part of living by the coast !Get used to it , it has been here longer than we have.If you dont like it then move!

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  • Taxman100  |  October 16 2012, 3:39PM

    Have your noses forgotten the stench which arises from our harbours at low tide - particularly on a nice warm day! It's as natural as rotting seaweed on the beach - it's part of our Cornwall! Leave it alone! Well said Phil_lip!

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  • toffer99  |  October 16 2012, 12:32PM

    Shortly, local councils will be doing little or nothing for us, as will national government. That's the Tories' (who nobody elected) plan for the next few years so that the one percent can get richer by paying less in tax. Please see: http://tinyurl.com/ctuxy94 Don't be surprised as the local council and health services gradually fade away. You are rich enough to pay for any unexpected health emergencies, aren't you?

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  • caliwag  |  October 16 2012, 11:26AM

    Phil_lip makes an interesting point, but I assume there is a greater length of inaccessible coastline to create balance. Incidentally is the recovered seaweed composted anywhere...I assume it is rich in minerals?

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  • Phil_lip  |  October 16 2012, 10:25AM

    While the aesthetics of a beach may be affected for us with rotting seaweed it actually has an important role to play as it is carried back to sea in particulate as it breaks down to feed the young of many animals, including lobster, crab, zooplankton as well as mussels, fans and the like that inhabit the shallower coastal areas but our needs come first as always.

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  • josdave  |  October 16 2012, 8:05AM

    At least seaweed is a natural substance washed up by the tide. What is far worse is the rubbish left bewhind by very lazy people some of very dangerous like glass, needles etc. If there was some form of enforcement and a really hefty fine, I'm talking hundreds of pounds as anything less would be no deterrent, then these disgusting people might think twice. At present it seems to be left to groups of volunteers, all credit to them, to clear up other people's mess.

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