Luke Douglas-Home Beach Runner Norfolk
01:22 PM April 9, 2022
An environmentalist has traveled to a Norfolk resort town to shine a light on the problem of plastic on our beaches.
Luke Douglas-Home hopes to walk the entire UK coastline in stages, picking up plastic as he goes.
He began his 11,000 mile journey at Great Yarmouth in November. On Saturday, he put on his trainers at Hunstanton, with his friend Simon Nixon, before leaving for Snettisham.
“I hope to end the Norfolk chapter before the swifts arrive in early May,” he said. “Then I’ll head for Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.”
Mr Douglas-Home, a 51-year-old environmental consultant based in London and Burnham Overy Staithe, hopes to complete the coastline in 13-mile stages, using public transport to reduce his carbon footprint and collecting 1kg of plastic at each half marathon.
Andrew Jamieson, chairman of the Norfolk Coast Partnership, urged people to join him in showing their support.
He was seen by Hunstanton Mayor and Mayoress Adrian and Catherine Winnington and Councilor Cynthia Easeman on a sunny but windswept beach on Saturday.
“As a council, we have banned single-use plastics from council property and we have our Slam Dunk The Junk campaign to get rid of litter,” Mr Winnington said.
After the runners were pushed aside, their first or so half mile took them under the famous Candy Cliffs, whose breeding colony of fulmars is threatened by ingested plastic, which can clog their digestive systems.
Seabirds that dive for surface food are among the most vulnerable to swallowing plastic.
“A lot of birds pick up plastic and think it’s food,” Mr Winnington said. “They think they’re full, but they’re full of plastic and they’re starving.”
The fulmars glided over the cliffs as Mr. Douglas-Home and Mr. Nixon took flight. As they reached the seafront they were forced onto the Prom by the rising tide as they headed towards Snettisham.