It was two or three months ago I was approached by Fiona Spirals (through the RSPB stalwart volunteer Lygia Shubert) to ask if I could asssist in the removal of the plastic at Higham Bight on the North Kent Marsh. I suppose I am probably best placed to assist in such a project, having done several such clearances on the southern Kentish shores of Englands' most famous river, stretching back almost three years now.
Permissions have to be sought from land-owners etc and Natural England to whom detailed plans of how, when etc and maps of location have to be submitted as most of the sites are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (AKA SSSI). A detailed Risk Assesment and Methodology with Emergency Planning has to be included.
A fully equipped Qualified First Aider has to be on hand.
Then there is the supply of personal safety equipment (PSE), comprising:- safety gloves of various sizes, strong plastic sacks for the collected plastic, litter-pickers, sharps bins, hand cleansing gels and wipes.
There is then the small matter of getting together a group of volunteers, enough to carry out the task in hand, but not too many to be overwhelming or possibly dangerous given the often remoteness of the locations.
It was very pleasant to see then, a good turnout for last Sundays' event and in a couple of short hours over thirty full bags of plastic were collected as removed off the tideline and a ton or so that will not find its' way back into the waterways.
So once again a big thank you to Fiona for getting the majority of volunteers, Will from the RSPB for allowing me use of their vehicle and access to the site, Diana from ASDA for attending and RSPB Intern Eleanor for helping me, not least of which assisting in the rather dauntining task of getting the truck across a busy double-gated railway crossing!
Thanks to Belinda Lamb of The Guardians of the Deep for her continuing support and doing the Risk Assessment for us.
A special thank to Colinda, Gary and Tony of Medway Norse for supplying most of the equipment and taking away 30 plus bags of plastic etc.
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