Wednesday, 16 October 2013

FRED October Open Monthly Meeting

Please note our open meeting is tomorrow at 6:30pm to discuss our plans and developments. This will take place in Torus Digital Marketing office, 2nd Floor, The Palace Hub, 28-29, Esplanade, Redcar, TS10 3AE

All are welcome to come along and listen to what we have planned and planning and to participate if you wish to. Tea and coffee provided with a great open view. Free parking is available along the sea front and in the town centre after 6pm. 

Someone will be waiting to greet you outside the Palace Hub and assist you through the side entrance and with directions up to the 2nd floor. 

***Please note after 6:30pm the meeting will commence and the building is secured. If you are running late please take down  this tel. no (07966985444) so somebody can let you in.***

All are welcome to come along and listen to what we have planned and planning and to participate if you wish to. Tea and coffee provided with a great open view. Free parking is available along the sea front and in the town centre after 6pm. 

Monday, 14 October 2013

Redcar's Beach Rubble Problem Old and New

Since we began this “crusade” of removing rubble from our beach following the building of the new coastal defences and striving to get the Environmental Agency and Birse to come back to clean up, one of the criticisms we get is that masonry has been on the beach for decades and that no matter how often we remove rubble it will keep coming back.

We disagree. If material does comes back why does it strategically form only along the new defences? If it is cleaned up we don’t believe it would come back in any great volume or size. The rubble that continually is revealed is the stuff that had been buried old and new next to the defences when the new work was built.

So is there old rubble on the beach from previous developments? Short answer to that is YES. Of course there is. We have never disputed that old rubble has been on the beach for years. And it ain’t pretty! There is lots of old rubble of different shapes and sizes, age and variety. However the amount has multiplied drastically since the work, making it all much more noticeable and undesirable.

There are differences between old and new fabrication that has been exposed to the elements. We have seen so much of it now we could probably start a course on marine rubble. If we had the money to waste we could also examine the varieties and complete an historical survey of the many surfaces that have been used on Redcar's sea front. We haven’t got funds to waste on trivia, but our common sense tells us much of the rubble that is visible, is new.

Not all of it is broken up concrete either. Some of the rubble is house bricks or different types of paving for example. There’s many difference sizes, style and colours, old and new. Further out away from the sea defences are examples of masonry that have been weathered, eroded and shaped over time by the thrashing of the waves.

Selection of Redcar beach rubble. Some are shaped from years on the coast. Other pieces are clearly newly formed.

Commonly formed concrete rubble that has been subjected to the elements for years tends to become darker, often brownish and can be stained with marine growth if static for long enough. It is often shaped and rounded. These examples in Redcar are large boulders that have been in the sea for many years and are 'our' responsibility to remove if we want a beach clean of these eyesores.

Old stained rubble with kelp accessories not far from the Redcar Beacon

Marine life existent on static rubble too heavy to be moved by the sea

Browned and ancient rubble on the petrified forest

This massive piece is next to the Dundas Street slipway (No it isn't a rock!)

The new rubble that has recently been formed and which dwarfs what was originally on our beach, looks clean and often reveals reinforced lengths of polypropylene, used on the new and previous development. This stuff is found next to our sea defences and logically can only be from the installation of the new and the demolition of the old sea defences last year (2012). This same material can be seen on the runaway going down to the beach from Dundas Street and on the bottom few steps along the seaward side of the seawall. Closer scrutiny and you can see the identical fibres protruding where the edges have been damaged.

We are asking that the Environmental Agency come back and do a clean of the areas around the sea defences that are littered with masonry. They state they did a thorough clean up and this rubble was either washed in or has always been there. Our answer to that is if they cleaned up properly the old rubble would have gone with this new stuff. We believe lots of this debris was buried and is subsequently being uncovered by the natural shifting of sand and movement of the sea.

If we recognise this as a problem now, we could easily arrange to get this shifted before the next summer season and visitor attraction campaigns begin. We are waiting for a date when the Environmental Agency will invite us along to carry out an inspection and continue to inform Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council of our information and concerns.


Thank you for all the photos. We have many on our system now and will show the many that haven't been published yet. Thanks also to Fred Brunskill for the additional information regarding the polypropylene fibres.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Friends of Redcar Beach Action Group October 2013

A very mild and sunny day in October and a good reason to get on the beach to collect up more of that masonry left over from the Coastal Defences Regeneration work. 

And the proof is in the pictures. The 3 mounds of rubble displayed in the photos were created in just 2 hours with a handful of people. (Just imagine what could be achieved).

Undoubtedly there is rubble and brick in amongst that collected that has been on our beach for decades. However as I said in my response to the Environmental Agency, who claim no responsibility, if their clean up had been thorough much of the old rubble would have gone with the new debris we have found.

New rubble to big and deep to be removed by hand

Scarlett working hard to dig this rubbish up
 We heard lots of complaints from residents who have said they have written to council members and their MP and are either met with closed replies or no reply at all and that no one is picking up this issue.

We advise residents that the matter lies not with the MP or the council but with the Environment Agency, and we are in contact with our council demanding that the clean up needs revisiting. 

It is the EA who oversaw this project by Birse Coastal and now claim they have no responsibility to the debris left behind (It's washed in and always been there apparently).

We collected and created 3 large mounds of rubble. Well done Scarlett

The concerns are apparent and therefore we ask you to write to your Redcar councillors, Environmental Agency and Ian Swales MP to help us highlight a genuine problem that residents shouldn't have to deal with. Just send the link to our posts and tell them what you think.

Ian Swales MP states that his office responds to all queries regarding beach rubble addressed by constituents. These concerns are passed to the council, into whose remit the management of the Birse contract falls. Ian himself has participated with a beach clean up event by FRED. The council are also concerned that locals feel angered and state they will reply to any complaint. They too are eager to confirm that they work with FREDs beach actions

Before I sign off I'd like to say a big thank you to Denise Thompson and little Alfie McKenna who came to their first litter pick today and worked hard to show residents what we are fighting against. A beach that looks in part like a cleared building site.

Our beach clean ups will be every first Sunday of each month. Next one will be a litter pick on the Stray, meeting at Zetland roundabout at 10am on the 3rd November tide permitting. See you there?

Our next open meeting is 6:30pm at the Palace Hub on the 17th October - tea and coffee provided. Come along it's about your home - Redcar.

Thanks everyone and join our club  (just sign up and look for "Friends of Redcar")


Thursday, 3 October 2013

FRED Exclusive membership club details

Ok here we go! Friends of Redcar FRED is opening the membership website here. YES OF COURSE IT'S FREE (If you're wondering)

Joining is very simple. If you're in the range shown you can join using your postcode to find us. If not or you prefer not to use your address you can use our postcode TS10 3AE. 

Oh the link!! Here it is - Just click on FRED

So what does joining FRED mean? 

Well unlike most other websites FRED offers EXCLUSIVE information that you wont see elsewhere. As a member you'll have access to competitions, events and all our documents, minutes, letters. Here you can also converse through our forum, buy and sell items and generally raise issues and discuss our home, Redcar.

By bringing FRED to it's own home we are providing you with all the details about our group in an easily navigated site. We value blogger and facebook ETC., but there's nothing like having your own exclusive membership club. This is our commitment to you but this is also your way of showing us that you care about Redcar and what we are trying to achieve.

Becoming a member doesn't require any participation from you but it allows you the choice. We'll keep you informed about your community projects and provide you with the knowledge and ability to join in with events or meetings if you wish to do so. Communication really does make things happen and the more voices we have the stronger our messages become.  

Oh and if you are the 100th member to join you'll win yourself a lemon top ice cream from Pacitto's. Can we top that? Yes we can - We'll top that with sprinkles - that's right you get sprinkles too! How can you not join us now?OMG! :D

So what are you waiting for. Join FRED and be a Friend of Redcar now

Any problems joining FRED? Contact us here or on fb/twitter or email

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Mystery blue balls blight Cleveland beaches

Many of these blue balls were also found by Friends of Redcar on Redcar Beach and given over to Surfers Against Sewage to help follow up this story.

Mystery blue balls blight Cleveland beaches
North of England Correspondent
Original story here.

As the #c4newspopup team crosses the UK, North of England Correspondent Ciaran Jenkins solves one of North Yorkshire's seaside mysteries.

 It is a hazy August day in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, a resort in Redcar and Cleveland at the far tip of North Yorkshire. There are donkey rides, ice cream stalls and at least three different places to buy your fish and chips.

Everything is as it should be by the British seaside, except for the mysterious appearance of dozens of little blue balls.

"I've been coming across these balls for years," said Nick Noble, who runs the Saltburn Beach Surf School.
"We do a regular litter pick on the beach. It's spotless otherwise, so they really stand out."
"We call them UFOs – Unidentified Floating Objects."

The balls are made of polystyrene, have a spongy texture and measure around 20mm in diameter.
Christine Burniston, who organises donkey rides on the beach, says the balls are a common sight.

"Are you joking?" she asks, incredulous, when I tell her the source.

In response to questions from Channel 4 News, responsibility for the balls has now been claimed by the Hartlepool nuclear power station. The balls are "taprogge balls", used as part of the cleaning process for sea water in the plant's cooling systems.

"They are flushed through our coolers and are usually caught at the end of the process," a spokesperson for the power station said.
"However, on occasion, some of the station's taprogge balls, which are not radioactive, do get into the sea where they can eventually wash up on local beaches.
"The balls are made of natural rubber and will harmlessly degrade once in the environment.
"We are working closely with the Environment Agency on this issue."

I told Ms Burniston that the balls were not radioactive. She was far from reassured.

"We have children playing here," she said.
"And what if the donkeys eat them?"

Mr Noble from the Surf School was not impressed either:

"They say they're not contaminated, but they shouldn't be getting out from the power station in the first place.
"We do a lot of work keeping this beach clean, so this does us no favours at all.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Beach Action Group Masonry Litter Pick October 2013


As it's getting colder we are scaling down the beach picks and only expect the hardy (some might say foolhardy - but not me!!)

The beach litter and masonry picks will therefore be less heavily advertised through the winter. The meeting location and dates will be 10am :-

6th October Regent cinema - masonry pick 
3rd November Zetland roundabout for The Stray 
1st December TunedIn for Majuba  

Everyone is welcome to join us however we DO NOT expect people to turn out in all weathers. If that means me on my "Jack Jones" on the beach getting pointed at then so be it - strange man! Gloves and bags provided as always :)

In the new year we plan to run some cool events to include interacting with the primary schools, competitions and general 'fun' litter awareness strategies and litter picks - all focussing the attention to the beach and sea front. Lots of planning and preparing so we need as many hands up in the air to help as possible. 

If it's bad it's off! Wrap up warm. I'll bring flasks of soup and coffee! Gloves and bags will be provided as always :)