Volunteer profile: Property and town planning teams (Wales & Western)

Marine Conservation Society beach clean

We’re part of Network Rail’s Property team (Wales and Western)…

Our team is a commercial division of Network Rail. We specialise in commercial lettings, property services, planning and development. 

What did we do?

Individuals and teams from Wales and Western routes – which included some of us working in property and town planning – took part in a litter pick survey at Royal Sands, Weston-Super-Mare, as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) national Beachwatch survey event. 

The data collected is reported back to the MCS, providing them with an insight of the amount and type of litter accumulating on our shores around the UK.

What did we give and get?

The area of beach is impractical for the Local Authority to routinely clean, as it is made up of sand dunes and covered in brambles, so it can only be cleared by hand.

We collected a total of 49kg of litter from a 400m section of beach. The most common items included 284 pieces of plastic/polystyrene, 185 crisp and sweet wrappers, 117 cigarette stubs and 72 plastic cotton bud sticks. The team also safely removed potentially harmful litter, including 14 bags of dog faeces, broken glass and other sharp objects.

The day provided an opportunity for cross-functional team building, and we really enjoyed taking time away from the day job to contribute to a worthwhile cause.

What have we learnt?

It helped raise awareness of the volunteer leave available to us as Network Rail employees, as part of the volunteer leave policy, for similar causes.