Beach combing for treasure here throws up a trove of toxic trash that mingles with marine life. Do cockles clean their shells with cotton buds or celebrate big birthdays with balloons?
Every few feet deflated remnants of celebrations are shredded to sea anemone shapes, their gaudy plastic tails tangled in washed up weed – lasting far longer in the food chain than the days and years they celebrate. This lethal legacy of holiday haven parties has potential to tangle and strangle local birds and fish.
Are shredded pants, abandoned butts, beer cans and bottles battered by the waves remnants of wild nights out?
Alongside the cockle and razor shells cast aside by snacking gulls and oyster catchers, detritus from human diners drifts ashore. Near the closed for winter cafe there’s no escaping brand wars on this beach. Empty Coke and Pepsi cans compete for attention, alongside long forgotten fermenting juice and freshly left coffee cups – tasty.
While shed shells play their part in shaping shifting sands, there is no safe place for shreds of nets and tangles of line lost or dumped in the hunt to find our fish food. Washed up wings could be the sign of seagulls snarled in line?
The lead of a hapless hound lies at the top of the tide – has a dog despaired of modern living and done a Reggie Perrin? Or drowned doing doggy paddle? Should I dial 999?
There are signs on shore for us – smoking kills and wind and tide can trap. But no alarms for sea life warning of the snares we set. Most victims die invisible, although the occassional corpse washes up onshore. Like this strange seahorse found drowned – seemingly strangled by its manufactured plastic mane.