70-Year-Old Woman Cleans 52 Beaches In One Year

It was her 2018 New Year’s resolution to clean one sandy beach every week of the year. And she did it!

With rubber gloves, bin bags and a litter picker, Pat Smith, 70-year-old woman and founder of the environmental campaign called Final Straw Cornwall, cleaned junk and garbage from 52 beaches in Devon and Cornwall, which are countries at the western extremity of England that encompass everything from genteel, cozy villages to vast Atlantic-facing strands of golden sand and wild expanses of granite moorland.

Pat Smith cleaning the beaches
Photo Credit: Pat Smith

Traveling through the west of England, Pat collected litter from Coverack, Cornwall, to Blackpool Sands, Devon. Even her Christmas day was spent on Trevone Beach, picking up waste and plastic bottles.

Pat has very faithfully cleaned one beach every week in 2018 and has been able to clean 52 beaches throughout the whole year. Even though her resolution is finally done, she doesn’t want to stop. She believes that she needs to carry this campaign forward and continue to make sure that people ensure the cleanliness of their beaches.

This is being picked up by the media, and rightly so!

trash collect from beach by Pat Smith
Photo Credit: Pat Smith

“Doing 52 beach cleans in 2018 was my New Year’s Resolution and it’s finally done,” Pat said. “I won’t stop, as our beaches need me. I’m driven to try and protect our living planet for my children and grandchildren, and I will continue to do everything in my power to achieve that.”

What a commitment.

As Pat set out to clean beaches every week, she was often joined by other campaigners and people who were determined to help keep the environment and beaches clean and healthy. Sometimes, they would misunderstand her by thinking that she was doing community service.

“People don’t understand I’ve been doing this voluntarily,” Pat says. “We should all take responsibility for picking up the litter, as well as ensuring we don’t drop litter in the first place.”

She urges people to be more thoughtful to keep beaches clean and take action against the harmful effects to plastic pollution. She hopes that people will turn to recycle habits and not give the environment such a hard time.

Pat Smith standing at the beach
Photo Credit: Pat Smith

“A lot of the rubbish I have picked up consists of everyday items. These things are used by all of us and it is shocking to find them polluting our beautiful beaches.”

“Please let’s try to be more thoughtful in this coming year.”

Hope we all can respect Pat’s efforts and be more thoughtful while enjoying beaches this year!


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