Rise Up, Clean Up Margate: New railway station art installation aims to help fight tide of litter on our beaches

Art installation for Margate Railway Station Image Because Creative

Since the easing of lockdown earlier in the year, people have flocked to Margate’s beaches in their thousands. With its beautiful golden sand and easy transport links to London, Margate has become the obvious holiday destination for many people unable to travel to continental Europe this summer.

Margate’s infrastructure has struggled to cope with this unprecedented rise in tourism. The litter collection teams have been overwhelmed, toilet facilities are proving inadequate, and security guards have had to be deployed on the beaches.

RISE UP. CLEAN UP. was set up in 2020, aiming to inspire, unite and empower the community to take action as one unit. Local businesses and residents were quick to support the initiative and to date volunteers have collected 437 bags of rubbish, that’s over 3,000 KG of rubbish!

Photo Joanna Bongard

When it comes to littering, education is key and RUCU believe that enforcement and fines can only go so far. Understanding the impact that your litter has on the immediate and wider environment is crucial for affecting long lasting behaviour change.

The Station Installation harnesses Margate’s creative talent to communicate this message in a way that is both playful and informative. Designed as a collaboration between set-designer and RUCU founder Amy Cook, and local design agency Because Creative, the installation will be situated in the ticket hall of Margate Train Station from July 20 and will run throughout summer 2021. This installation is aimed at people visiting Margate for the day, and is designed to raise awareness of the enormous litter problem affecting Margate’s beaches, and the simple ways in which we can all come together to tackle it.

Most tourists enter Margate through the train station ticket hall. Last summer up to 1,500 people arrived at Margate Station each hour, so it became the obvious location to begin this engagement. The installation is a snaking display case filled with 75 bags-worth of rubbish, showing people just how much litter is collected from the beach in one single day. The installation hopes to open people’s eyes to the fact that even small, individual acts of littering add up to an enormous amount of waste.

The installation will also have information on it about the effect that plastics have on our oceans, and advice about how and where to dispose of your litter correctly. The project has been funded by a Crowdfunder campaign and generous donations from local organisations – all of whom are listed on the installation.

A tiny Rise Up Clean Up volunteer Photo Joanna Bongard

With education comes the power to make better decisions, not only for yourself, but for the wider community. RUCU hope that this installation will have a powerful visual impact that will stay with people long after they have visited Margate. This will benefit not only local residents, but also the world’s oceans and their native wildlife.

RUCU co-founder Alanna McGill Tagg said: “This isn’t about shaming people, or preaching to them. It’s about creative a positive message which conveys what Margate means to it’s community, how hard we work to protect the beaches, and how we can all play a role in keeping Margate beautiful.”

For further information visit riseupceanup.co.uk Instagram: @RiseUpCleanUp Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/riseupcleanupmargate Twitter: @CleanRise

Rubbish installation, re-usable pint glasses and a litter pickers’ online shop – some of the proposals from Rise Up, Clean Up


  1. Here we go again bloody art to the rescue !

    I am really struggling to understand this love affair with art in this run down thanet.

    Do we really think that abit of art at a train station is going to stop people littering the beach ? Really.

    So when they are pissed and high the first thought is going to be ‘ remember that art I must take my rubbish home with me ‘!

    If it works I’ll take my hat off to the arty brigade.

  2. i have finaly found some one that agrees with me ! i could not have put this posting better myself , same old story – art cures everything – art brings in thousands to these depressed washed up seaside towns – we will see ?

  3. Such negative comments! Surely the problem of drink-driving could be solved by an interpretive dance troupe, and fighting in the streets would be wiped out forever by teams of highly-trained crystal-holders?

    • Not forgetting the beautiful Turner gallery, sprinkling taxpayer-funded stardust over our thriving High Streets, booming local economy, blossoming jobs market and….. well, just about anything it claims to be doing.
      Where would we be without our creative self-styled saviours?!!!

  4. tracey emin must be laughing all the way to bank – surely she cant believe her luck , i wish i could s**t the bed and make a million ! it could only happen in thanet. by the way does she still live on this sceptic isle ?

    • I have tried selling my teenagers unmade bed on ebay for only £500,000 but sadly no one has made an offer.

      To all these arty people in thanet I am open to offers on my teenagers bed.

  5. #sotrue if only the council had backed realworlds crowdfunder to release the arty movie he shot of Mike and Diana casting minor roles the isle would be a much safer place

  6. Why do some people seem to hate art in general? I hate competitive sport but I don’t go on about it , I just don’t watch it or go to it. It doesn’t affect me, because I completely avoid it. I don’t understand its attraction, just as some don’t understand the interest which others have in art. Why the spiteful comments about art?

    • It’s not a question of hating art, but of hating how it is funded.
      Competitive sports, for the most part, have to pay their way or the clubs go under.
      An art gallery will plead for a grant – and usually get it.
      Critics are not being spiteful, they are asking for fairness.

    • I dont hate art some paints etc are amazing.

      What I dislike is art well cure everything in thanet. Art gets sheds loads of money. Turner Centre around 30 million ?

      There is alot wrong with thanet but that’s keep throwing money at the arty community.

      Is art this art that it never stops. And that’s be honest most of this art is really art is it. Seen 5 yr olds do better.

  7. Littering on beaches and selfish, ignorant people – or pissed beach/party goers as has been mentioned – is everywhere. Fancy Brighton suffers from this as well. Art is fine – its what Margate has hyped about for years. Well done those founding this initiative. But it needs enforcement (what are those enforcement officers doing – nice job walking up and down the promenade all day?) peer pressure, parents educating their children as well. No one if asked would admit to leaving litter. Its laziness and ignorance.

  8. Creative containers for plastics on the beach could be even more playful eh. But not for those suffering from toilet scarcity yesterday in what is a tourist resort….

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