At Dog Friendly Cornwall, we believe that dog walkers have an overall positive impact on the environment. Join us for our dog friendly beach clean at Perranporth beach, supported by Final Straw Cornwall on Saturday 4th August.
If you’re anything like us here at Dog Friendly Cornwall, barely a day goes by where we don’t find ourselves picking up litter on our dog walks. Crisp packets, drinks cans, sweet wrappers and more. On a walk with Rosie it is quite possible to return with a whole carrier bag full of other people’s rubbish.
This may not sound like much, but there are approximately 100,000 dog owners in Cornwall and we think we are far from alone. Think of the amount of litter that we, as dog owners, are picking up regularly. The myth is that dog owners and their dogs are responsible for making a mess of our countryside but, in reality, could it be possible that we are inadvertently having a positive effect on the environment?
In Cornwall, the problem of litter is perhaps most noticeable on our beaches and the sea where a lot of this rubbish ends up, no matter where it was dropped in the first place. This is also where you are likely to find dog owners busy clearing up.
Avril Sainsbury of A Greener Bude, which regularly organises and takes part in clean ups of beaches and other parts of the town on the North Cornwall coast, says that a great number of people who join in with them are dog owners who bring their dogs with them. We were inspired earlier this year by Wayne Dixon who is walking around Britain litter picking with his faithful companion Koda, and we enjoyed doing a beach clean at Coverack with them. Now Dog Friendly Cornwall invite you to come and join us this summer for a dog friendly beach clean. On Saturday 4th August, we will be meeting at Perranporth beach at 9:30am. We are hoping to get other people running similar events at beaches across the county.
The event is being supported by Final Straw Cornwall, a campaign which aims to rid the whole county of single use plastic straws and to raise awareness about plastic pollution. Already over 500 businesses have pledged their support to the cause. Founder Pat Smith says: “As we were launching, I found out that tupperware first came to market in 1948, the year I was born and it hit me that every single piece made since is still on this planet in some shape or form. It’s a horrifying thought but we can all make a difference.”
The idea is that these beach cleans can become regular events, a way for dog owners in Cornwall to come together to ensure the county’s dog friendly beaches are the cleanest in Cornwall, and to make new friends too.
Pat adds: “It is important that we don’t view these events as one-offs, as though we are ticking an environmental box by attending one beach clean and that is it. Our favourite quote at Final Straw is: ‘I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something… then I realised I was somebody.”
And it never hurts to pick up any litter on your usual dog walk of course. It’s our chance to make the world realise that most of us dog owners aren’t actually making the world a messier place, but a cleaner one.