Rise Up, Clean Up Margate volunteers tackling main sands litter

Rise Up Clean Up launch event

A new community beach clean group has been tackling the mounds of litter left on Margate Main Sands by beach-goers.

Rise Up, Clean Up Margate held its first community litter pick on July 24 with 50 people taking part.

A second evening clean up, with 23 volunteers, saw a whopping 75 bags of rubbish collected in just 90 minutes.

Rise Up, Clean Up is the creation of Margate theatre set and costume designer Amy Cook. The mum-of-one says the group is a response to the continuing issue of littering on the main beach.

She said: “It has been an issue over the past few years but is particularly bad this year. We are focusing mainly on Margate Main Sand. There are already groups to tackle the issues in other areas but it struck me that there wasn’t one focusing on the main sands so I started something up to get the community out there, showing how much we care about our beach and environment.”

Amy says due to lockdown, and the continued closure of theatres, there has not been any work, leaving her with the time to co-ordinate the effort.

She has been joined by a number of local artists and designers as well as other residents.

She said: “Local businesses have also been supporting us, we have a graphic designer who created our crowdfunding logo and there have been lots of different levels of community engagement.”

The beach cleans are held on Friday evenings, from 7pm, once visitors have started to leave the sands.

Amy said: “The beach starts to empty then so we have some space. The council empty the bins but do not clear the beach until the following morning although they have people out with litter pickers until they clock off at about 8pm. But then you have the tide and the seagulls so it is important to do it in the evening.”

Everyone is welcome to turn up and join in, under-18s need to be accompanied by an adult. Volunteers are asked to bring a mask and gloves and closed in footwear.

Amy said: “Most locals use other beaches, like Westgate or Palm Bay. They are often shocked when they see photos of what the main sands look like at the end of the day. Last week it looked like a war zone. But there has been a fantastic community effort, we even had some teenage girls who put on the hi viz over the bikinis to help – it’s amazing how teenage boys suddenly want to clear up then!”

The group also gives out bags during the day for people to clear their rubbish into and Amy says the response has been positive.

Behind the scenes talks are taking place with Thanet council over creating campaign murals and posters.

Find Rise Up, Clean Up Margate on facebook here

Find the website here

The group can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.


  1. Well done to all involved. Bit shameful they have to do this due to the deficiencies of Thanet Council but fair play to them.

    I think anyone devoting a certain amount of volunteer hours to something the Council should actually be doing should get a discount on their Council Tax.

    • It’s not the council’s fault that parents no longer bring their kids up properly. The UK population has never been so selfish and self entitled. The me me me generation doesn’t care about anything other than themselves. A breakdown of parental responsibility has contributed immensely to the litter and antisocial behaviour problems we all have to endure everyday.

      • I agree with you, but think this gives a very positive message. Well done all of you. If we had youngsters out patrolling the beaches greeting visitors with hi vis jackets and sacks collecting rubbish as they went along it would also make a big difference.

      • Well said concerned, it just about sums up the selfish, greedy self obsessed people who think people should clear up after them, goodness knows what they’re homes must look like.

  2. Just shows what a selfish dirty country the uk is becoming. Dont keep blaming TDC it’s the same all over the country. To many people only thinking of themselves.

  3. It is the same all over the country with people being lazy. Why then is Thanet so permanently filthy? . Dog poo everywhere, bins not emptied, litter all over the streets and residents doing the Council’s job for them and cleaning the beaches.

    I have been all over the country over the years. To many different tourist destinations. Believe me, nowhere is as filthy and dirty as here.

  4. Well done to those people. Great idea to give out bags to the beach users – especially the bigger groups – during tgecday

  5. Good work by you all this is nothing new the beachwatch campaign I launched on behalf of the Marine Conservation Society.With volunteers collecting litter and data. All beaches are crown estate for everyone to use there are no private beaches they are for everyone.I go up and down Margate main sands almost all day until the last people are going home and never spotted large volumes off litter and what washes up on the strand line at the time the tide comes in.I looked this evening from the harbour to the Nayland rock known as Margate west beach there was very little rubbish on the beach like every evening since people started coming back. It is not good to do this all the time. TDC is responsible for employing seasonal beach cleaners and don’t forget people have been locked down for a long time. Too much if this kind of activity gives Thanet a bad name. Please don’t do the council’s job for them.

  6. Brian Smith-Stewart said “Please don’t do the council’s job for them.” Take your rubbish home with you you brought it to the beach now take it home. Stop blaming councils for peoples laziness. It’s not rocket science the rubbish was brought by you so you take it home simple. I real dont think my council tax should be used to clear up behind the beach go’ers. If the bins are full take it home they was room in your car or bag when you brought it to the beach so there is still room for the empty package or wrapper.

  7. Mr chance or whoever you are my campaign started I the summer of1996 on Margate main sands Margate west beach Westbrook and Walpole bay. We were not doing the council’s job for them we surveyed these beaches and filled in monitoring sheets counting each item this was used to prosecute people who were doing this the Marine Conservation Society presses all governments to keep beaches clean the data is more important than just cleaning the beach with volunteers. This problem is world wide not just Thanet.

  8. get the long term jobless picking litter give them a sense of worth and pride plus working for there benefits

  9. I was along Margate seafront again today there was plenty of people on the beach the euro bins and other bins were full up and emptied all the time. People are putting there rubbish in all bins including pavement side black and gold painted they were used as well there might be a few who leave rubbish on the beach. The council go on the beach and clean with there mechanical machine that picks up all kinds of litter.

  10. You may get a community sentence if you’re convicted of a crime by a court but are not sent to prison.

    Why not put a team of these people together cleaning up the beach from 18.00 to 20.00 weekdays and longer weekends

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