On Sunday 4th October 2015 Lancashire and Morecambe Bay took centre stage on Countryfile (BBC 1 6:15pm) - you may even have caught a brief glimpse of me if you were quick!
I'm just a teeny part of a big piece about the fantastic Morecambe Bay Cycleway which we whizzed around back in June - well I say whizzed, we plodded mainly and ate a lot of cake, but I digress... Morecambe Bay is the most fantastic place for wildlife, skies, recreation, walks, hikes, relaxing, kite surfing, cycling etc. etc. etc. but it will only stay that way if we all look after it properly and helping us to do just that are the lovely folks at LOVEmyBEACH.
A lot of what they have to say and do isn't sexy as it revolves around toilets, sewage and litter, but what they do do (sorry, toilet humour.. :-) ) is help spread the message about the things we can ALL do to help protect our beaches and waterways wherever we live. So, against a backdrop of pictures of lovely Morecambe Bay and surrounding waterways, here are the top 10 things we can do to help:
1. Think before you flush - the 3 Ps only should be going down the loo - Pee, Poo and Paper. Everything else needs to be binned and disposed of separately ESPECIALLY cotton buds. Thousands of them get through our sewage system each year and end up on the beaches injuring wildlife. (I've been banging on about that one since 2010!)
2. No oils or fats etc. to go down the sink as they can cause blockages and leakages allowing all sorts of nasty stuff to seep into our groundwater and rivers. As a general guide, if you don't fancy swimming in it, don't put it down the sink.
3. Make sure all your plumbing and drainage is connected properly. You may be super green and environmentally friendly, but if the folks who put in your drainage were muppets your grey water (washing up etc.) could be heading straight for your nearest river.
4. Bag and bin your dog poo. Don't leave it lurking on beaches or flick it into a nearby river and definitely don't bag it and hang it on the nearest tree like a stinky Christmas decoration.
5. If you have a septic tank make sure it's properly serviced and checked for leaks etc. to ensure there is no nastiness oozing out while you're not looking.
6. Get a water butt for the garden to collect rainwater. Not only does this help when watering the garden it also reduces the amount of surface run off heading into the sewers.
7. Put your litter in a bin or take it home with you. Honestly - do we really still need to be telling people that? I'm gob smacked by the number of folks who think it's fine to picnic on the beach then leave it all there when they're done. If you can carry it there, you can carry it back. Litter has a huge affect on local wildlife and notso local wildlife - if you leave in on the beach and the tide gets it, it could end up anywhere.
8. Go to a beach clean - you'll learn loads, make new friends and burn off TONS of calories. Better than the gym any day! Check out the LOVEmyBEACH events page to find one near you.
9. Go talk to your boss. There's a whole page of things that businesses could be doing to support the project and protect the local environment and customers LOVE that stuff so earn yourself some brownie points by bringing it up at your next team meeting.
10. Spread the word - share this post, share the LOVEmyBEACH web page, follow them on Twitter, stalk them on FB - share their posts and tell your friends. None of us has to change the world but if we all do our own little bit we can help keep the waters around us shiny clean and floater free.