Simon Browning.jpg

Simon Browning

Contact Simon:

Twitter - @FoEBude

"I grew up on the beach at Bude after moving to the area aged 10. I fell in love with the coast immediately and spent my spare time on the beach, exploring rock pools, caves and trekking to the more remote beaches.

After almost 20 years away – at University and different jobs – I was able to move back a few years ago when I started working for the Westcountry Rivers Trust as senior monitoring officer.

Now I was spending more time on the beaches again, I was shocked at the difference. Bude has some great beach cleaning groups that do a brilliant job, but when you look a bit closer at the sand, you see that it is not just sand coloured anymore. In amongst the yellow are blues, reds, greens and oranges that just don’t belong there – these are the microplastic particles that plastic debris breaks up into. When you venture to the less accessible beaches you find huge collections of plastic debris – fishing crates, nets, plastic bottles and other random bits.

I’ve always been uncomfortable with the idea of single-use plastics and the disposable culture that society has accepted. But this was enough to nudge me into action. I joined the local Friends of the Earth group and the local beach cleaning groups too. Now there are a few groups in the town working towards ‘a greener Bude’ – joining forces with the Plastic Free Pledge should help us all make some real change for the better."