Red fishing buoy flotsam

Crisp and cold, bright and sunny, just right for blowing away the cobwebs with a walk along the strand at Whiteford Sands. On this particular winter’s day the tide had brought ashore lots of flotsam – fishing nets, buoys, floats, and crates, shoes, hard hats, and miscellaneous plastic rubbish that rested on a driftline of sand, pebbles or shells. Here are some of the things that caught my eye as I strolled the high water mark from Cwm Ivy Tor to the spit beyond Whiteford Point on Boxing Day 2013. Click on any of the images in the gallery below to view in a larger format and slideshow.

10 Replies to “Winter Walk at Whiteford Sands”

  1. Are these goose barnacles in picture 27? Can one find them there regularly or is that an exception?

  2. I know what you mean. Plastic is a huge problem worldwide. There is a huge “fetch” in this area and objects from as far away as South America sometimes wash ashore.

  3. Yes, it’s worth taking a close look at the labelling on items washed ashore. Items originating from all over the world turn up on the strand line on Gower beaches. I always photograph the fish crates to see where they came from originally although of course they could have fallen overboard much closer to their eventual destination. Rockabill.ie is a fun sort of name.

  4. Hello, Nannus. Yes, they are goose barnacles which are a fairly common find on British beaches, including those on the Gower Peninsula like Whiteford Sands, where this particular species is only found attached to free-floating objects that have washed ashore. In other parts of the world there are also species of goose barnacles (stalked barnacles) that attach to rocks on the shore. Here in the UK the stormier the weather, the more likely it is that objects covered in goose barnacles will turn up on flotsam on the beach.

  5. Can’t help but hope you were able to gather the profuse amount of large rubbish from the beach? Or did they sadly go back out on the next tide.

    Kind regards
    Jenny

  6. It was a lot of rubbish on the beach but scattered over about an eight mile walk. I think that much of the trash would be washed out to sea again, not necessarily on the next tide but perhaps on the next extreme high tide or storm conditions. It would be impossible to clean up this and similar beaches after each major dump of rubbish because of the remoteness of the area and the expense. However, periodically, volunteers gather to collect and dispose of the rubbish. The dates and locations for these Big Beach Clean Ups are widely advertised for beaches around the British coast. Where beaches belong to national bodies, staff also undertake clear ups but the task is enormous. This particular beach also has regular monitoring for unexploded bombs and other munitions because it was used by aircraft as a practice firing range in World War II.

  7. It’s very sad to see all of this on a beach but it’s just the same here in Devon. In fact my wife is using some of the flotsam to make pieces of art. But of course that doesn’t help the marine life.

  8. I know what you mean, Philip. It is sad that there is so much rubbish, especially plastics, on our beaches but at the same time it can be seen fascinating and provides many artistic and creative possibilities.

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