Volunteering, Walking

Group of men, women and children in front of beach wearing blue hi-visibility jackets.

Getting Active for Good

Being more active, doesn’t always have to mean exercise. If you have an outdoor hobby or interest, you’ll benefit from spending time outdoors, but also from moving more too. Helping your local environment is a great way to do some good for the planet, with a beneficial side effect of moving more and improving your health!

By joining a beach or rivercare group, taking part in a little picking day in your local community, or volunteering at a local nature space, you’ll not only feel good from helping your local environment, but you can reap the benefits of moving more and spending time outdoors in nature too.

We caught up with Lianne Havell who set up Sutton-on-sea Beachcare, a friendly community litter picking team on Lincolnshire’s East Coast.  The group began in 2016 following a conversation between neighbours about the levels of litter on the beach. They meet once a month unless more litter is seen and needs moving quickly. So far, the group have cleared more than 2,221 bags of litter (413 of those in 2022)  but they have become much more than a litter picking group. They also record report to relevant authorities sightings of stranded mammals, invasive species and archaeological finds, and, have encouraged local businesses to go plastic free.

They were runners up in Lincolnshire Environment Awards and runners up in Radio Lincolnshire Making A difference awards – Environment category

How did you get Started?

We started Sutton on Sea Beachcare due to litter being left on the beach. As well as it being unsightly there was the harm to wildlife aspect.

What do you enjoy about being part of the group?

I enjoy running the group as it brings people together for a good cause and allows people to enjoy being outside which supports their health and wellbeing. Being active outdoors has also been proven to be good for mental health, and it has definitely been beneficial to ours.

How do people get involved?

We generally hold Beachcare events monthly. We welcome new volunteers year round. We get no funding so donations always welcomed. . .Anyone wishing to just beach walk with me also welcomed. I am happy to tell people what is found here etc

We have many more Beachcare events planned in 2023 and talks around schools, clubs and associations etc. Our first big beach clean for 2023 is taking place on Saturday 4th March – find out more about our activities on our facebook page.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to set up their own group?

If anyone wanted to set up their own group along the Lincolnshire Coastline they should contact Anglian Water Rivercare/Beachcare unit. They are also welcome to come and meet me and I can talk them through how we set up. It takes a little while to do and then encouraging people to join in. Its a case of making our area nice, safe and clean for all which gives a feeling of pride to those of us who do it.

Find a Rivercare Group near you.

Rivercare Beachcare, supported by Anglian Water, support voluntary groups looking after rivers and beaches across the East Anglian region.

Find your nearest group on their website.