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Campaign launched to keep beaches in Falmouth safe this summer

A campaign aimed at keeping Falmouth’s beaches safe has launched after concerns were raised over bonfires being left unattended and an increase in litter over the summer months.

Partners from Safer Falmouth, including Falmouth Town Council and Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, met (at a safe distance) on Gyllyngvase beach on Wednesday 29 July to launch the ‘sand safe’ campaign, and warn about open fires, safe use and disposal of BBQ’s, dog fouling and littering on the beach.

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An essential part of the tourist economy and Falmouth’s character, the town’s beaches offer a spectacular environment for recreation. But problems including open fires, dog fouling and littering can threaten the public’s safety, and beaches’ Blue Flag status.

The campaign aims to improve beach safety by promoting these three simple messages:

  1. No open fires on the beaches
  2. Clean up after your dog and adhere to summer dog restrictions
  3. Bin your litter and leave only footprints

No open fires are allowed on the beaches. BBQs are permitted on some beaches but must be disposed of in the special bins provided for this purpose.

Fire safety officers warn that burning material can cause serious health issues.Screws in timber, sharp metal grill plates and embers can cause injury to people and animals. Fires can also cause plastic pebbles’ - a combination of melted plastic, shingle and seaweed - that can enter the food chain with devastating consequences for wildlife.

The Safer Falmouth team asks everyone to stick to BBQs only where permitted, follow the safety instructions provided, never leave a BBQ unattended, keep children and pets away and to let the BBQ cool completely, preferably using water or sand before moving it and disposing of it carefully and responsibly in the bins provided. Never bury a BBQ in the sand as this could cause serious injury.

Clean up after your dog and please adhere to summer dog restrictions. We are a nation of dog lovers, but we need to look after our animals responsibly to protect our beaches and the community. Each dog produces an average 20 stone of waste a year, and if left on the beaches this damages the environment and poses a health risk, particularly to children. Make sure you pick it up, and please don’t leave the bags on the beach.

A day at the beach often involves food and fun, but please use the bins on the beach or take everything home with you to recycle. Litter, particularly plastic, will go straight into the ocean and will begin harming wildlife right away, entangling animals and entering the food chain. Be mindful of what you bring to the beach, and make sure you take everything home with you afterwards.

Watch Manager Tom Nicholas, from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As we begin to make a welcome return to the beaches after a prolonged spell in lockdown, we wanted to remind everyone of the impacts of open fires and BBQs. Simple actions like not having an open fire, cooling a BBQ with water and disposing of it properly, can have a big impact on the local area for everyone.”

Cllr Rob Nolan, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Cornwall Council, said: “Falmouth’s economy, like most of Cornwall’s, relies on people having an enjoyable holiday experience they want to repeat. Barbecue waste, dog mess and litter can spoil that experience, so we urge everyone – residents and tourists – to be considerate, to clear up, and to be responsible dog owners. Cornwall is a special environment, and everyone should be able to enjoy its golden sands cleanly and safely.”

Sarah Walker, Environmental Officer for Falmouth Town Council, said: “We are asking for everyone’s help in keeping Falmouth’s beaches safe for residents, visitors and marine life. Through the campaign we hope to share knowledge about how to enjoy the beaches in a safe way, which is particularly important during this challenging time. By working together to keep the sand safe, we can ensure a safer, cleaner and greener environment for everyone.”

Find out more at https://www.falmouth.co.uk/sand-safe/

Please report any concerns about safety on our beaches to Falmouth Town Council at info@falmouthtowncouncil.com and to Cornwall Council at publicprotection@cornwall.gov.uk, online at www.cornwal.gov.uk/report-it, or over the phone 0300 1234212. 

For reporting crime or anti-social behaviour email 101@dc.police.uk or call 101. In an emergency always dial 999.

Safer Falmouth is made up of representatives of Cornwall Council, Falmouth Town Council, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, Devon and Cornwall Police, First Light Domestic Abuse Service, We Are With You Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service, Cornwall Housing, Falmouth and Exeter Universities, Falmouth School and other voluntary agencies. It responds locally to crime and community safety issues, as well as delivering the strategic priorities of Safer Cornwall, to find out more visit: safercornwall.co.uk/safer-towns/falmouth