Petition to 'clean our stinking beaches'
A PETITION has been set up calling on Cornwall Council to rethink its beach-cleaning policy and remove "stinking, rotting" seaweed.
Rosemary Ridette-Gregory, of the Falmouth and District Hoteliers' Association, set it up in response to a decision to stop the cleaning this year.
The association has already organised clean-ups at Castle Beach to remove what it considers a health hazard which is affecting tourism, including one at the weekend.
She said: "With the new general waste and recycling contract Cornwall Council have tried to save money by no longer removing seaweed from easily accessible beaches, often with a Blue Flag.
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"With the adverse weather Cornwall has had this summer, some of those beaches are now covered with up to three feet of rotting, stinking seaweed.
"Cornwall Council chose this year to rewrite their waste management plan and contract for beach cleaning with the result they have stopped cleaning dead seaweed off beaches.
"The result is Cornwall's beaches are now covered with hundreds of cubic metres of dead seaweed.
"This vegetation attracts flies, which lay eggs, and within a week the seaweed is crawling with maggots.
"If there is no higher tide for a few weeks the seaweed just stays there, smelling and looking horrible.
"Obviously no one wants to use beaches with that on and if this continues the policy will do great harm to our tourist industry and the enjoyment of local people."
It already has 100 signatures and Mrs Ridette-Gregory hopes more will sign.
"In Falmouth we have been attempting to keep just one beach in a reasonable state."
Mayor Geoffrey Evans is due to meet with Cornwall Council and the beach warden today to discuss the matter.
Alongside the beach clean on Sunday, six divers, organised by Mark Milburn of Atlantic Scuba, collected rubbish from underwater at the beach, returning with 16kg of rubbish.
The debris included plastic carrier bags, fishing net, broken bottles, perspex and rope. The details were sent to Project Aware and the Marine Conservation Society through the British Sub Aqua Club.
Now nicknamed the "Falmouth Scuba Wombles", their next underwater litter pick is planned for November 11 at Pendennis. To take part visit the divers' Facebook group, falmouthscubawombles.