As forecasters predict another sunny bank holiday weekend, a litter campaign launched in Bournemouth & Poole appeals to beach visitors to continue to look after the area’s award-winning beaches, while reflecting on its success during the past year.
Leave Only Footprints was devised in 2018 with the intention of encouraging beach-goers in Bournemouth & Poole to clear up after their day at the seaside, putting rubbish in the bins provided.
To coincide with the campaign’s official launch last summer, Leave Only Footprints welcomed the arrival of hundreds of new, clearly labelled bins along the seafront – with a recycling option at each location.
The campaign has since broadened its scope to encompass steps taken towards making the award-winning south coast destination greener and, in line with its world-class vision, at the forefront of sustainable and eco-friendly tourism.
Discounts are available on reusable cups and the Refill Dorset scheme operates in cafés and kiosks along the prom.
Leave Only Footprints has been embraced by the local community and the team has collaborated with other environmentally conscious organisations including Litter Free Coast and Sea, Keep Britain Tidy and Dorset Devils.
Partnerships have also been forged with agencies in the area’s thriving creative and digital industries, large organisations as part of their corporate social responsibility agendas, tourism businesses along the seafront and local media.
The Leave Only Footprints team has designed and delivered a programme aimed at local school groups and families. The series of activities and events encourage children to spend time outside, discovering wildlife in their local area. During the sessions the team introduces the ethos of Leave Only Footprints and the impact that litter can have, as well as what we can all do to help.
The team also goes into schools to deliver talks and assemblies on the Leave Only Footprints campaign.
In the last 12 months, the team has taught 972 students aged 5 to 11, engaged with 742 members of the local community (including both children and adults), and amassed 1575 volunteer hours for litter picks and beach cleans across Bournemouth and Poole.
Andrew Brown, Seafront Operations Manager for BCP Council, said: “There’s still so much we want to do and achieve but Leave Only Footprints has become a simple, recognisable way to communicate with the millions of people that visit our beaches every year.
“We’re under no illusion that this type of environmental messaging takes years to bed in but we’re thrilled that so many businesses and locals are on board with the campaign. We look forward to new initiatives and partnerships that will edge us steadily closer to our goals.
“In the meantime, ahead of the bank holiday, we hope that people will enjoy the beaches and make a small difference by clearing up after themselves at the end of the day, using the correct bins provided – blue for recycling and black for general waste.”