A group of 30 volunteers are taking to the shoreline of Two Tree Island in Southend this Friday (12 September) to launch a new community initiative, called BeachCare.

The project, which is being run by a partnership between Anglian Water and Keep Britain Tidy, encourages people to adopt and look after part of their local shoreline.

Volunteers and community groups will be given all the tools, training and support to carry out regular shoreline clean-ups as well as biodiversity surveys to help their local environment flourish.

This is the second BeachCare group to be established in the East Anglian region and follows the successful Great Yarmouth group, which launched in 2012 and has collected more than 300 bags of litter over the two years.

Paul Gibbs, Anglian Water’s Director of Water Recycling, who will be helping to launch the initiative in Southend, said: “Water is vital to our way of life and through our Love Every Drop strategy we’re working with communities to put water at the heart of our way of living.

“We want to help people understand the connection between what’s in the environment and what comes out of our taps. As part of this we’re keen to work with coastal communities, like Southend, over the coming years to encourage people to get involved in helping to protect our region’s waterways and shorelines.”

Two Tree Island has been chosen for the launch of the latest scheme because of its important salt marsh habitat and the impact of the tide, which often brings lots of litter to the area.

Paul added: “While litter is the most obvious problem affecting the quality of our shorelines and beaches, groups will also be able to help in other ways. Members will learn how to help protect the wonderful coastal wildlife and habitats and gain knowledge they can then share with others in the community.

“Dropping litter, not cleaning up after dogs, even what people put down sinks and toilets, have a huge cumulative impact on our local environment. Coastal communities in particular can be affected by these first-hand, which is why we hope they will want to join us in making BeachCare a success in Southend.

“By making these connections between our actions and the local environment we hope this BeachCare group will support the already very successful beach cleans organised by Southend Borough Council and help coastal communities maintain and protect their surroundings for future generations.”

The BeachCare initiative has been modelled on the successful RiverCare scheme where local communities have set up groups to carry out regular clean-ups and environmental surveys to adopt stretches of inland waterways.

Andrew Walters, from Keep Britain Tidy, said: “We are delighted to be working with Anglian Water to help the community in Southend keep their beach clean and understand how our actions can impact on our environment.

“We know that schemes like BeachCare make a big difference.”