The family owners of a Devon holiday park are involving guests in their bid to turn the tide on the scourge of plastic which is polluting West Country beaches.
Ladram Bay Holiday Park near Budleigh Salterton in East Devon is aiming to retrieve one ton of waste washed up on its private beach over the coming months.
The growing total of discarded plastics gathered will be shown by a rising column of sand on a special display board near the beach path.
The park is asking guests to bolster the efforts of their own staff team of litter pickers by collecting any plastics they find, and depositing them in a bin alongside the board.
Zoe House, a director of Ladram Bay and a member of the park-owning family, says the scheme won’t just help to make the beach more welcoming for families:
“Plastics can pose a very real threat to marine and land wildlife, as well as blemishing the beautiful natural environment of our coastlines,” she said.
“Guests here love to see the pods of dolphins which often swim in our bay, and they are a constant reminder of how important it is to protect our oceans.
“Throughout the year we have tens of thousands of people staying at Ladram Bay, so we have the opportunity to mobilise a whole army of beach cleaners.
“Our family has owned Ladram Bay for over 75 years, and we’ve witnessed the harm that plastics can cause, which is why we have decided to take action.
“Children especially are showing great enthusiasm to help us reach our one ton target, and that’s fantastic as their awareness is essential for the sake of future generations,” added Zoe.
A raft of other green initiatives at the park have helped Ladram Bay to win a series of conservation and sustainability accolades over the years.
They include the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level, with a special distinction given for the park’s efforts to protect honey bees and create new wild flower habitats.
To help draw attention to its one ton waste challenge, the park features on its display board a distinctive blue lobster which recalls an eye-opening incident at the park a few years ago.
It occurred when another of the park’s directors landed an actual blue lobster from one of the pots he was tending in the bay, sparking national media attention and a BBC TV report.
Lobster Blue is also now the name of Ladram Bay’s own-brand collection of summer clothing.
The five-star park provides a wealth of attractions including a swimming pool with splash zone, an indoor climbing wall and professional entertainment.