The first event of 2018 broke all records for Beach Buddies at Ballaugh with more volunteers than ever before, and more rubbish collected - by a massive margin.
On the first day of the Manx New Year, and one day after at the end of the 10th anniversary year, a huge number of volunteers attended the first weekly volunteer event in a sun-blessed day where massive amounts of plastic had gathered since Christmas.
All previous records were smashed to bits. There were 123 volunteers, beating the previous record of 83 by miles, and 183 bags of rubbish were collected, just over double the previous record of 91. And there was also a record number of new volunteers, with 31 arriving to take part for the first time.
“It was, to be honest, overwhelming,” said Beach Buddies founder Bill Dale. “I expected a good turn-out, and it was great to see that around a dozen were there when I arrived more than half an hour before the event was due to start, which was a hint as to what might happen.
“But the sheer number of people, and especially the number of families, was actually quite humbling. There has suddenly been a lot of publicity lately about the way we have abused the oceans, and it’s fantastic that people are now starting to take notice and show that they care, but this was totally unexpected.
“To smash all our previous records by such a margin is just fantastic, but more to the point this is brilliant news because it shows that more and more people are now taking notice of what is happening to our environment and wildlife. We are setting worldwide standards in the Isle of Man, and today again says that our people are showing the rest of the world how it’s done.”