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Beach litter up: Includes Bulletproof vest, tv & dentures

Beach litter is on the increase according to the Marine Conservation Society

Volunteers involved in cleaning up Britain's beaches collected more than two hundred thousand items in just one weekend.

The figures have come in a report from the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) which organised the 'Beachwatch Big Weekend 2013' last September. A total of 224,405 items were collected.

Litter found on one of the region's beaches

It was the twentieth annual Beachwatch event organised by the organisation. The MCS said that beach litter was increasing and that behaviour needed to change. Lauren Eyles from the MCS said:

"It's coming in from the sea, being blown from the land or simply being dumped and dropped. After 20 years of campaigning it's disheartening that in 2013 we are seeing worse litter levels than ever.

"As well as half a TV, a French bulletproof vest and a pack of bacon, there was a brass candlestick, some plastic bird feet, a birdcage, a bath plug, half a canoe and a set of dentures,"

"Plastic is a real issue for our oceans and beaches. This year we also picked up lots of lids and caps. However, despite it being a really warm summer, we saw less crisp, sweets and lolly wrappers and fewer plastic bottles."

Beaches face 'unsuitable for swimming' blacklist

Some of the country's favourite beaches could be ruled unsuitable for swimming under new European water quality rules.

Walpole Bay Beach in Kent, Hastings Main Beach in Sussex and Southend Jubilee Beach in Essex are among those that have been earmarked 'at risk ' of failing to reach the higher water quality standards that come into force from 2015.

The authorities in Kent, they are looking at ways to avoid the 'unsafe for swimming' blacklist. Sarah Saunders reports.

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Sharks in Whitstable? Surely not?

It's known as one of Kent's greatest assets, and there's plenty of it - 350 miles to be exact. We're talking about Kent's coastline.

This week, it's the focus of a special programme of events to teach adults and children how to protect our marine life for the future.

Andrea Thomas has been talking to Mark Harrison, from Timescapes Community Archaeology Group and Chris Drake, Coastal Officer at Kent County Council.

If you'd like to find out more about the events on offer this week click on this link www.kent.gov.uk/coastalweek

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Compensation bids after sewage closes beaches

Firms in north Kent could be entitled to compensation after claiming they have suffered financially from the closure of several beaches in Thanet because of pollution. The beaches were closed after sewage was discharged into the water after problems at a pumping station.

Southern Water has apologised for the leakage.

“We're sorry for this incident and apologise to all those affected. We continue to work with Thanet District Council to clean the beach at Margate / Broadstairs following pumping station problems. Teams have been working 24/7 over the weekend to resolve the issues at the site.

“The council, as beach manager, has decided to close the beach while the clean-up continues. Cleaning the beach so it can be reopened is a priority for us and we continue to work closely with the council and the Environment Agency. We'd like to assure customers we're doing all we can to resolve these issues."

– Southern Water spokesperson
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