The Committee had arranged this meeting via Zoom, and thanks go to Maggi and Wendy in getting it set up.
Maggi welcomed 23 members to the meeting and had received 3 apologies.
Maggi then introduced our speaker for the meeting, Kate Osborne on the topic “Beach Bonkers: Suffolk Shingle Tales of Treasure and Trash”.
Kate introduced herself to members saying that she started “Beach Bonkers” some 5 years ago. Prior to this she had been working for the NHS and had a “light bulb” moment wanting to something in Conservation. She showed slides of what some of her work involves in taking groups, both children and adults around the coast line in her area in Suffolk and encouraging them to “Be Curious”. It was fascinating to see what “life” there is within the shingle beaches and to learn how the infrastructure generates the vegetation, animal life and beyond. She told us of the “Treasures” that can be found on these beaches, like Sea glass, yellow horned poppies and fossils.
The curse of today is plastic and it was through this substance that we learned of the “Trash” around these areas. Entirely due to man’s use and disposal of this product Kate highlighted many examples of the damage done – the picture of the sea bird chick whose stomach was full of plastic waste, even a lighter. How balloons are mistaken for jellyfish by turtles; the labels from plastic beach spades that leave a trail.
She went on to advise how we can make small changes in our habits to help, many very simple, Take Litter Home, Purchase Bamboo sporks, flushing just the three Ps down the toilet (Pee, Poo and Paper) and reading the labels on products such as Fairy Liquid, detergents and tea bags. Then pass on the information to others.
Kate’s passion for her subject was evident and members were spellbound, particularly with the message that we CAN make a difference. One message “How long does it take to clean Paris?” the answer is 10 minutes if we all take responsibility for cleaning our own surroundings!
Kate then took questions from members, which she answered, giving sound advice.
The talk was recorded with the intention of going onto our website and there is contact information to be found. Kate left the meeting to a round of applause from members and our thanks.
Jane raised the issue of “The Tree of Life” competition being run by the WI and asked members who are interested to watch for the email from Wendy giving more details of making the “leaves” the message being related to “Climate Change”
Marylyn reminded members of the Afternoon Tea which will be our next “meeting” on 10th August. Anyone who hadn’t put their name down should contact Judy. On the day there will be a donation box with all proceeds going to Breast Cancer Charity. Bring your own mug, seat and pen/pencil. There will be a table with tea/coffee and cakes, courtesy of Cookery Nook, and a competition table.
Members were also advised that it is hoped we will be able to meet in the Hall in September, with fingers crossed. And the October meeting, our annual meeting, will also be our 10th anniversary.
It was pointed out that there are competitions set up by the sub committees of the WI which are to help bring members back together.
Our next meeting will be on 10th August – Afternoon Tea, Chestfield Cricket Club, Whitstable
The meeting closed at 11.20am.