When this content has been published
Published on 8 August 2017
'Love Your Beach' and enjoy a family day out in Teignmouth
People who love their beach are in for a treat as giant seagulls, a Scotsman on stilts, an enormous dog and a monster made of wet wipes descend on Teignmouth for three days of entertainment and education.
Street theatre and family activities are taking place from August 15 to 17 to celebrate life beside the seaside and explain more about how we can keep our beaches clean and seas sparkling.
The activities have been funded by Teignbridge District Council and Teignmouth Town Council, working with the Environment Agency, South West Water, the Marine Conservation Society and Teignmouth Recycled Art In The Landscape (TRAIL).
The programme of events is:
Tuesday 15 August (11am to 4pm) – Monster fun on the sands! The Marine Conservation Society is bringing Wallace the Wet Wipe Monster* to Teignmouth Beach to help people understand why flushing the wrong stuff down the loo is bad, both financially and environmentally**.
Wallace is a bespoke art installation and stands at over 3m tall and 8m wide. He inflates from a very small pile of wipes on the sand to a 8m wide x 3.5m tall monster and can disappear back into the shore at regular intervals during the day.
Friendly faces from the Love Your Beach campaign group will join Wallace to provide tips and advice about looking after the beach. There will also badge making, a giant deckchair and a selfie competition.
Wednesday 16 August (11am to 4pm) – Giant seagulls will be performing in Teignmouth and generally making a noisy spectacle of themselves. The street theatre has been organised to highlight the importance of caring for the environment and discourage people from feeding seagulls – but in a fun and appealing way!
Done as part of the BeachWise partnership*** Teignbridge, the Environment Agency, South West Water, Town Development Manager Tracey Scranage and Teignmouth Traders Chairman Keith Underhill will pop into businesses to hand out stickers and posters for food businesses to use.
Thursday 17 August (11am to 4pm) – Look out for Big Rory, a six foot, stilt-walking Scotsman and his enormous dog Orchie. They will be explaining the dangers that dog poo poses to our coastal waters. Those prone to leaving their dog’s mess behind won’t want to be caught by these two! People will be encouraged to take part in a survey (www.teignbridge.gov.uk/dogsurvey) on proposals to introduce a new Public Space Protection Order to deal with the minority of people who don’t pick up after their pet.
Cllr Phil Bullivant, Teignbridge District Council’s Executive member for Recreation and Leisure, said:
“This is a great programme of events, underlined with a strong message about looking after our beaches and swimming waters. We have successfully retained our Seaside Award for Teignmouth and need everyone to do what they can to help us to keep our beaches and the coast as clean as possible. This is an example of how Teignbridge works with others to highlight important issues but make it fun and entertaining too.”
Cllr Paul Burgess, Mayor of Teignmouth, said:
“Having fun with a superb range of activities is a great way to get the vital message across of how we can keep our beaches and sea safe and clean. These activities will be great fun for both residents and visitors. I very much hope that all people will take the message seriously and work towards protecting our beautiful environment."
Rich Stockdale, Area Director at the Environment Agency said:
“I'm delighted to see the bathing water quality at Teignmouth is 'Good'. I encourage everyone to find out what more they can do to help protect water quality and make our area a great place to live, work and visit. Come and see the team on Tuesday to find out what you can do to help protect your local beaches.”
Alan Hyde, Head of Community Relations at South West Water, said:
“We all have our part to play to help protect bathing water quality, and not feeding the local seagulls is an easy way residents and visitors can make a difference to the environment.”
Tracy Scranage, Town Centre Development Manager for Teignmouth and Dawlish said:
“Love them or not, overzealous seagulls are a perennial problem in our town centre, beach and promenade. We will giving businesses stickers to put on their packaging informing customers of the problems caused by the gulls particularly outside food outlets. We will also be providing education through entertainment in the coming weeks and putting posters up throughout the town.”
Amy McCarthy, TRAIL’s spokeswoman said:
“We’re delighted to be hosting Wallace as part of TRAIL 2017. Working with other organisations helps put Teignmouth at the heart of the environmental art movement and compliment the messages behind the sculptures wonderfully. Huge thanks to Teignmouth Town Council for funding the event. We hope locals and holiday makers will come and join in with the beach events over the three days that Wallace and the Marine Conservation Society are with us.”
Teignmouth Town Beach holds a Seaside Award and is currently classed as ‘Good’ in bathing water quality standards.
The events have been enabled through the long-running Love Your Beach campaign, a joint group of organisations which investigates causes of reduced water quality and raises bathing water standards.
Love Your Beach is led by Teignbridge and involves Teignmouth Town Council, the Environment Agency, Teignmouth Harbour Commission, South West Water, the Town Centre and Development Manager, the Teign Estuary Partnership, Teignmouth Tourist Information Centre and district and town councillors.
*Wallace the Wet Wipe Monster is in Teignmouth across the three days as part of TRAIL’s annual art exhibition along the seafront. The visit is funded by Teignmouth Town Council through the Elector Fund.
**MCS say that the number of wet wipes found on UK beaches have increased by almost 700% over the last decade. Wet wipes are commonly used in the bathroom to remove makeup, clean up babies’ bottoms and wipe toilet seats and once used are then often, mistakenly, popped down the pan and flushed. This can end up causing blockages and sewer floodings.
It costs South West Water, and its customers, £4.5million each year to clear around 8,500 blockages on the sewerage network. About 65% of these are caused by baby wipes, hygiene wipes, moist toilet tissue, cleaning wipes, cleansing pads and sanitary products being flushed down the toilet.
***The BeachWise partnership promotes safe enjoyment of the South West’s beautiful beaches and clean bathing waters. Visit www.beachwise.uk for more information.
TRAIL is holding a day of Met Office workshops on 22 of August and three weeks of free art workshops at TAAG from 11 August. Visit www.trailart.co.uk for details.