Worbarrow Bay beach clean with AIMHI
By Kester Bailey
still Half asleep but excited
Around 10:30am on a slightly grey Sunday morning in Tyneham, a number of people begin to arrive in the carpark near the crumbled buildings of the now abandoned seaside village.
Although still half asleep I’m looking forward to what the day has in store, because today is the day of the Oceans to Earth x AimHi beach clean of Worbarrow Bay.
For those who aren’t familiar with AimHi yet here’s a quick run down:
AimHi is the nature-first, curiosity-powered online school on a mission to make world-class live learning accessible to everyone.
You only have to check out the names of some of their guests to understand that these guys know what they’re talking about, featuring; Jane Goodall, Chris Packham, George Monbiot, Jo Jo Metha and Sam Lee.
Producing original and interesting content, AimHi try to provoke curiosity and a desire for discovery in as many people as possible, empower critical thinking, to act on the basis of evidence, and to be wiser and kinder stewards of our biosphere and communities.
AimHi take a progressive approach to e-learning, unafraid to confront big questions that will inevitably need answering in the not so distant future. They provide educational courses and content exploring questions of; carbon, tipping points, simple solutions, soil and the future of food, as well as population, pollution and finding a balance. Asking ‘How do we fix this? Making the impossible possible.’
(All of the above is covered in their ‘Climate and Nature Course’ which is returning September 2021)
Anyway, back to the beach clean
After all the introductions – of which there were many – we grabbed our bags and litter pickers and began the 15 minute walk from the carpark down to Worbarrow Bay.
People chatted and continued to get to know each other, talking about interests, work and backgrounds. Maybe it’s the fact that we’ve all been stuck inside for so long with little to no social interaction but it was a welcome change to chat openly with a mix of new and like-minded people. Something I’ve definitely missed.
Calm before the storm (clean)
Reaching the top of the bay we stopped for a quick safety brief before being unleashed onto the unsuspecting rubbish below, clearly quivering with fear at the thought of being properly disposed.
Both the AimHi, Oceans to earth team and volunteers rolled out onto the beach with litter pickers gripped between their teeth looking to get stuck in. It was a sight to behold and one I hope to get used to with so many out in force for the reason of removing pervasive litter and waste. It’s empowering to see strangers unite.
What’s the point?
But then, and it’s clear to see that this isn’t just about removing litter and waster from a beach, it’s much more than that. It’s about fulfilling basic human needs of socialising, exercising and learning.
People chatted and new friendships were forged, facilitated by the fact that everyone present has a common interest in nature and could unite over a common cause in the protection of it. Not to mention the location in which we found ourselves. It’s hard to be moody when you’re surrounded by such tranquil settings.
There was a definite air of curiosity about the day, people from a variety of employment and industry backgrounds shared their insights as everyone present was open to hearing what the next person had to say. I heard conversations about nurdles, fossils and the different types of plant found in the UK from which a fibrous type of rope can be produced. There are apparently 3.
And let me just say, for all the fun and enjoyment taken from the day, it is no walk in park combing a large section of shingled beach back and forth and then having to transport any waste found back to a designated removal point. Anyone looking to get their steps up should definitely come along to the next one!
Time to head back
Feeling sufficiently tired after hours of chasing down fly away crisp packets, collecting microscopic nurdles and cutting away rope and fishing wire trapped by immovable rocks* (*boulders). It was time once again to scale the path leading back to the carpark, except this time lugging bags of rubbish and walking up a marginally inclined gradient (inclined none the less). Feeling tired but fulfilled we reached the carpark, disposed of our rubbish and set down for a well earned lunch on a wonderfully placed garden bench – just beneath the trees.
Despite a perfect day there was an un-easy silence as the lunch spread was laid out upon hungry eyes, however I think this was more to do with a genuine excitement at the meal to come rather than any ill feeling.
And what a meal it was! I could think of no better way than to end the day with a spread of veg, breads, dips, sweet treats and cheese and marmite pin rolls (yes that is a thing – email for recipe).
Goodbye for now…
After eating we capped the day off with a group photo and after some long farewells we said good bye to one another and departed – promising this would be the first of many.
So that my friends is how the Oceans to Earth x AimHi beach clean went. What we did that day probably won’t reverberate around the world and induce mass social and environmental change but in the little pocket of land down on Worbarrow Bay, just off Tyneham you could really feel the love. Which as I would argue is one of the most powerful and transformative forces of all.
Interested in what AimHi offer? Click here for the full range of services!