Clean-Ups

The Exe Estuary Management Partnership holds Clean-Up events twice a year. Our spring Clean-Up is held in May and our autumn Clean-Up in September. Within a couple of hours our volunteers clear tonnes of rubbish from the Estuary and can make a huge difference to the condition and safety of this fantastic site.

Litter has detrimental effects for our wildlife, our environment and our economy.

The presence of litter on the Exe not only devalues the beauty and enjoyment of the Estuary but can impact upon our tourist industry which many local businesses rely on. We can all help to make a difference by remembering to take our litter home with us or using bins provided when visiting the Estuary.

Litter is a particular problem for our marine environment. It causes the death of thousands of sea birds – and other marine life – every year as they ingest it or get tangled up, eventually dying through choking or strangulation.

Organising your own litter picks

Upcoming Clean-Ups

The Exe Estuary Management Partnership organises two Clean-Up events per year, one in May and one in September.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, it is looking increasingly likely that the May event due to take place at Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve will be cancelled; however, we will be looking to reschedule this later in the year. The September event at Exmouth LNR is currently carrying on as planned.

If you would like to be added to our database to receive invites to future Clean-Up events, please contact the Exe Estuary Officer.

If you are a business or organisation that would like to support these events in some way, please get in touch with the Exe Estuary Officer at exeestua@devon.gov.uk or 01392 382236.

Autumn Clean-Up group photo 2019
Autumn Clean-Up: 14th September 2019 at Exmouth LNR

The big Exe Clean-Up brought together 110 volunteers and several local businesses to clear hazardous rubbish from the popular beauty spot in Exmouth. In the bi-annual clean-up event, piles of rubbish were pulled from the estuary, making it safer for visitors to the Local Nature Reserve in Exmouth.Woman pulling sled along sand

Hazardous items such as sheets of metal, broken crab pots, rusting car wheels and glass were removed from the area, creating a safer environment for recreational users, families and the protected local wildlife. Some of the more unusual items found included rolls of carpet, a mop head and an ornate clay smoking pipe. Volunteers got creative at this event and used old sledges to drag the larger items of rubbish back to shore… better than trying to carry them!

Several local businesses stepped in to support this large clean-up of the estuary. Volunteers were treated to a delicious hot meal from the award-winning Krispies Fish & Chips, voted one of the best chip shops in the UK, and were provided with fresh fruit from McDonald’s before the clean-up. Stuart Line Cruises, who are a long-term sponsor of these events, also took all volunteers on a cruise of the estuary after the clean-up, where volunteers were treated to a lazy seal basking bobbing around on a mooring! On board the cruise, ACE Music filled the sea air with jazz tunes. Equipment for the clean-up was very kindly donated by Clear-Reach Exterior Cleaning Specialist and East Devon District Council was able to remove and recycle the rubbish collected.

Chair of the Exe Estuary Partnership, Cllr Jeff Trail BEM said: “Over the many years that the partnership has coordinated clean-up events, there has been a significant decrease in rubbish found in the area. This is a very promising sign, indicating that the clean-ups are having a positive effect on the health of the estuary and that people’s attitudes towards rubbish are changing. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the event with such enthusiasm.”

Cllr Richard Scott said: “The partnership continues to go from strength to strength, the clean-up and other events around the estuary demonstrate the high levels of engagement from residents, user groups and businesses. I would like to thank all involved in the day and in particular the businesses that supported the clean-up and entertained all the volunteers.”

people standing next to a fish and chip vanThe owners of Krispies Fish & Chips, Tim and Kelly Barnes said: “Krispies are delighted to once again support the Exe Estuary Beach Clean. We are passionate about keeping our local environment clean so wildlife can thrive, and everyone is able to enjoy this incredible piece of coastline.”

Exe Estuary Officer Stephanie Harper-Chung said: “The dedication of the volunteers and local businesses who offer their time to look after our protected estuary is outstanding. These people make a massive difference to the health of the Exe and I’m proud to be a part of this community.