BeachCare volunteers clean up North Burleigh beach

BeachCare volunteers Jenny Clifton and Ron Wildermoth tidy up the dunes at North Burleigh.
BeachCare volunteers Jenny Clifton and Ron Wildermoth tidy up the dunes at North Burleigh.

PICKING up other people's rubbish - plastic, cigarette butts and lots of bottletops - wouldn't appeal to a lot of people.

For BeachCare volunteers, it's a way to keep their own environment clean and to protect wildlife.

Jenny Clifton and Ron Wildermoth, both of Palm Beach, were among a large group at North Burleigh beach recently.

Jenny's been a volunteer for nearly four years.

"I love to body surf and go to the beach regularly and thought, I'd like to help maintain it," she said.

"Years ago I used to go for a walk on the beach and Mum always used to take a plastic bag and pick up rubbish."

Volunteers usually donate about two hours of their time on Saturday mornings at various beaches on the Gold Coast.

"Sometimes we have pre-school people. They take cuttings and plant them in tubes," Jenny said.

"Some parents bring their children down, of all ages.

"We collect rubbish, we weed and we plant. You need a bit of an interest in gardening.

"You are shown exactly what to do. There are people there always to help you and you can have regular breaks.

"There's always water available.

"For me, it's a good workout. It gets you out of the house, gives you a focus and keeps you fit."

BeachCare program co-ordinator Tegan Croft says volunteers get the chance to meet and chat to like-minded individuals.

"It's their way of giving back to the community… they enjoy the camaraderie, the opportunity to get outdoors and learn something new," she said.

"The work is important not only to the dunes but is another way of reaching out to people, educating them, answering any queries and hopefully influencing them to want to take better care of the environment.

"We have volunteers of all different ages - from kindergarten to retirees."

No particular skills or equipment are required to be a volunteer. Just be sure to wear enclosed shoes, bring some drinking water and wear sun-smart clothing.

Topics:  beaches clean environment seniors seniors news volunteers

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