Sunday, 5 April 2015

FRED at Easter and why our Redcar beach is failing

A sunny Halo over just some of our volunteers today. Bless these guys! 😇

What a glorious Easter Sunday morning and many of our volunteers, old and new, were regretting bringing their coats. The sun shone throughout the duration of our collective effort.

After meeting at TunedIn we started beach side at the end of Majuba car park.

Following the churning up of sand by Redcar council to reduce the sand drift along the sea defence wall at Majuba, we found lots of historic little bits and pieces, such as bottle caps, glass, string, aside from the usual sanitary, applicators, cotton bud sticks and dog poo bags. 

These small pieces slowed our progress for a good hour because there was (and still is) so much of it, but once we got to TunedIn we flowed a lot more freely toward the Regent Cinema. 

Thank you to all our 30+ volunteers, old and new who collected over 50+ bags  (and to Olly coming from Saltburn and Doug who bussed it in from Middlesbrough, showing great dedication to help us in Redcar). Thanks everyone. You are FRED.

Easter holidays - FRED on the beach, many people walk the Esplanade but where are the families using this end of the beach? 

Sticking Point

It is only too obvious that our beach from Majuba to the Beacon and from Zetland Lifeboat Museum to the Stray is still not seen as important by our authorities. 

This most certainly is the seaside but it appears there is no focus on it being one, either side the commercial area. Families don't seem to use the beach here to play. Why? Read on.

The seafront is the main thing that Redcar offers visitors. Until the beach is trusted we'll always have a scant amount of overnight visitors staying in our guest houses. 

As a town struggling to thrive by attracting trade and new business, we must think - beach - seaside - activities - events and to kick all that off by engaging in a big industrial beach clean up that opens the beach right up. FRED only wishes it had the equipment as we'd do it ourselves.

This is Easter and the beach either side of the commercial part is largely unsafe for our children to play on because of the broken glass and masonry. Do you dare let your kids run around these parts barefooted?

When the council churned up the sand in Majuba on the 25th February (41 days ago) they left huge mounds. This was a one man operation in a digger with no immediate follow up work. Any subsequent work has been wholly inadequate.

 25th February 2015 

Surely when they dug up Majuba, they then needed to trawl the beach, with a small team over three or four days and only when the beachcomber was in service. 

Not to rake/comb it and leave it as an unusable mess since February is, in my opinion, careless and thoughtless. I'm assured it'll get sorted in the coming weeks but feel this reply is far too ambiguous. There is no Summer season pressure in Redcar.

To my mind the beachcomber should be out a few times a week leading up to Easter and throughout the Summer - EVERY YEAR. Why isn't this a set procedure? Why do other coastal towns get it right and we don't? It's not like this isn't discussed - it is.

Once this happens and the beach is clear of years of historic building materials, litter, broken glass, fishermen ropes, dog fouling and tidal drift, then perhaps Redcar may become the trusted visitor destination, with activities and events that most residents would want to see.

Soon we'll also be plagued by kelp that usually lands annually but this will not always be raked until the complaint is made. So here's one in advance because we know it's coming. Please RCBC clear our beach of kelp when it arrives this year.

Aside from our litter pick activity today it was noteworthy brick and rubble was visible for long stretches, so it will be necessary for FRED to do a rubble collection along here sometime. 

The entranceway to Majuba beach is broken down and masonry is being scattered onto the beach here too 

Carrying our litter bags up over the sea defence wall became tiring and myself, visitors and residents have queried why there aren't more access points to encourage people onto the beach.

There are only two entrances to get on the beach here (one the end of Majuba and one beyond TunedIn). One is broken and both covered in sand. Elderly and young alike struggle on and off the beach using these steps or by climbing the walls. 

This next part isn't an attack on all dog walkers because I know many and all those I know are conscientious and thoughtful - but an observation of today. 

Many dog walkers were on the beach and lots of dog poo and dog poo bags were also on the beach. Many were visible and removed by us especially near to the dunes where kids are playing.

There's no instruction, no signage, no dog bins 'beachside' to encourage a community dog walking route and many dogs run freely off their leads. Some dogs charge about, one towards people and children who don't have a dog and are clearly fearful, some bark at other dogs, two dogs attack each other and one deficated near our group. 

What to do? Anything?