The beach is my happy place. It calms me and makes whatever is bothering me go away for a few minutes. It had never failed me, until this bank holiday. I came away from the beach feeling really sad and really angry.
Where we live is a quiet little area, sandwiched between two busy holiday towns, one of them being Rhyl. Even in the height of the summer, it’s usually quiet down on the beach. This weekend, there was a huge airshow in Rhyl, which thousands of people visited, including us. This, combined with it being a bank holiday and it being perfect weather meant the whole area was really busy. It was lovely to see the beach bustling and busy and people enjoying this beautiful little corner of Wales. I felt really proud of where we live and incredibly lucky. People pay to come here, to walk and play on the beach that we can go to whenever we want.
On Monday evening, when the sun was beginning to go down and the crowds had all but disappeared, we headed to the beach for a play and a paddle. As soon as we got to the gate onto the beach, my heart dropped.
There was rubbish everywhere.
Broken parasols. Coffee cups. Fag ends. Crisp packets. Bottles. Packaging from newly bought buckets and spaces. Dirty nappies. Even a used sanitary towel.
It turned my stomach. Thankfully (I think) it was at the top of the beach so when the tide came in it wouldn’t take it out to sea, but it’s still there for people to see and for someone to have to pick up. The kids had taken their diggers down to play on the soft sand, but I wouldn’t let them take their wellies off until we got down to by the sea because it was so disgusting. I normally take plenty of photos when we are there, but this time, I barely took any because I didn’t want rubbish in all the pictures. It was an absolute shit tip on there.
There are a few bins on the prom, but all of those were overflowing and there were bags of rubbish dumped next to them. Still, at least those people made an effort to put their rubbish in or by the bin, which is more than can be said for the people who just dumped it on the beach. I would have thought, and hoped, that the council would have had people out emptying the bin throughout the day, knowing how busy it would be. Saying that, we only get our household rubbish collected once every four weeks so I was probably being far too optimistic!
We regularly go on picnics, whether they’re full blown ones or throwing a few packets of crisps and cans of pop in a bag.We have never left a single piece of rubbish anywhere. Bins are often lacking so if there is no bin, or it’s overflowing, we pop it in the spare carrier bag I always have in the picnic bag and take it home with us. There have been times where we’ve sent the kids running down the beach after a crisp packet or a wrapper that’s got caught in the wind.
The people who have dumped that rubbish have left it and gone home, leaving it for someone else to sort out. It shows such a huge lack of respect – a lack of respect for the environment, for wildlife, for the area they are visiting, for the people who live there and for the people who end up having to clear it up. It just becomes someone else’s problem.
Wherever you are, whether it be on the street outside your house, the park, the woods or the beach, please take some responsibility for your rubbish. Put it in the bin or take it home with you. The UK is a beautiful country – don’t ruin it.