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Ayres beach (Catharine Devine)

May newsletter update from Bill Dale BEM

It has been a quite amazing year for Beach Buddies. Records have been broken virtually every month and volunteer numbers are unprecedented. The very first event of the year, at Ballaugh, saw a record-breaking number of volunteers take part, and since then the number of volunteers has been up 250% on previous years.

"The David Attenborough Effect" has certainly made a difference, and The Queen's personal concerns about the environment and wildlife have further raised awareness about an issue which Beach Buddies has been talking about for 11 years.

There has also been a major upsurge in interest in companies getting involved in beach cleaning, and also a very encouraging response from the Isle of Man's schools - all of which are involved in an ongoing education programme with Beach Buddies to make a serious bid to "break the chain" of irresponsible disposal of litter, especially fast-food and drinks containers.

However, the challenges do not end here. The beaches of the Isle of Man - and our roads and glens and footpaths - continue to be blighted by unnecessary litter, and Beach Buddies is stepping up its campaign to include inland areas, especially public rights of way and footpaths.

The majority of the litter on beaches is from outside the Island, and we know that it's only a tiny proportion of the Isle of Man's population who are responsible for causing this problem. The Isle of Man has set world standards in beach cleaning - we hope this message will change attitudes and that we can send out a message to our TT visitors from around the world that the people of the Isle of Man are doing something very special.

•  Beach Buddies is sponsored by FIM Capital.

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