The coastline of the Rame Peninsula, in Cornwall’s ‘Forgotten Corner’, ranges from the tidal estuary of the River Tamar to the rocky shoreline of Cawsand Bay and the long, wild cliffs and sandy beaches of Whitsand Bay, a Marine Conservation Zone.
Our amazing local volunteers who help to keep our beaches and sea clean for people and wildlife alike
RPBC founder Claire Wallerstein, nominated for a 2015 Observer Ethical Award, wearing a dress embroidered with marine litter collected from Rame Peninsula beaches
Who we are
Rame Peninsula Beach Care (RPBC), a registered charity, has been operating since early 2013.
The group's main aim is to clean our local beaches in South East Cornwall and raise awareness about the harm being done by marine plastic pollution.
We run monthly beach cleans, usually attracting between 30 and 60 volunteers, removing hundreds of sacks of marine litter each year.
Plastic debris poses a serious hazard to marine wildlife, with the UN estimating that it kills over one million seabirds and 100,000 whales, seals, dolphins and turtles each year, either through entanglement or ingestion.
Over 300 Cornish seals have now been observed with plastic entangled around their necks, and every single autopsied fulmar (a type of seabird) from the English Channel area is found to have plastic in its gut.
The scale of the problem can seem overwhelming, but we operate on the principle that every single piece of plastic removed is one less piece doing harm in the sea.
We live in a world facing many environmental crises we are powerless to do much about. Beach cleaning is different – people can have the immediate satisfaction of making a direct impact.
Aside from our core activity (monthly beach cleans), we also work in a range of other ways.
- Most marine litter cannot be recycled. Instead of sending it all to landfill, we work with local artists to produce sculptures and other art works for display in venues to help wider sections of the public understand and visualise the scale of the marine litter problem. We also loan these materials out for free to other organisations also working to raise awareness of this issue.
- We give talks and presentations to a wide range of groups, schools, clubs, etc.
- We take part in scientific research to help map and measure the concentration and evolution of marine litter in Whitsand Bay.
- We work with a range of other organisations to help add to the understanding of marine threats (for example surveying and mapping ghost nets for the Cornwall Seal Group and recording stranded marine wildlife for the Cornwall Wildlife Trust).
It’s not all just about picking up rubbish. As well as the scores of people who have turned out in all weathers to help to clean our beaches, we would like to thank our sponsors, partners, funders, and local residents who have been so supportive of our work, contributing time and skills in so many ways, from baking cakes for coffee mornings to lending trailers, manning stalls, operating projectors, providing storage space, creating marine plastic art and checking our accounts.
It may be a drop in the ocean, but beach cleaning is a satisfying and positive action that helps raise awareness among others too