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November 19 2013.

Jim Skinner reports:

The Friends of Tide Mills has just completed its November meeting (Sunday the 17th). 19 of us recovered 13 sacks of assorted rubbish from this special place, along with several bulkier items.

The amount of rubbish found was at least in part due to the recent gales and generally Tide Mills is in very good shape, largely down to people now taking more interest in the area and taking their litter home - Brilliant.

Of concern is the Environment Agency shingle re-positioning work currently underway along at Seaford. Any major removal of shingle from Tide Mills which results in beach instability would be serious, because this could in turn de-stabilise the vegetated shingle conservation area behind the beach.

Our next meeting is Sunday the 15th December. We meet at the beach end of the Old Village Road that runs up from the Level Crossing, from 10.00am until 12 noon. As always, all are welcome, irrespective of the amount of time that can be given.

After our meeting we will be holding our annual Christmas Picnic. All Friends who have helped us in the past are very welcome to come along.

More information from me at  

Jim Skinner


Bob Brown reports:

The admirable work carried out by Friends of Tidemills over seven years now, has helped transform what was a litter-strewn wasteland used for fly-tipping, to a cherished part of the South Downs National Park.

However, the recent storms have helped shatter the idea that FOTM could ever walk away from its monthly commitment to keep the area clean. After months of scrabbling around to find enough to fill a few sacks, within a few days of storm conditions, the site and indeed the whole of Seaford Bay beach has been strewn with maritime debris, most of it plastic, mixed up with large quantities of harmless seaweed. The latter will rot away quickly, but all the plastic will not.

On top of that, rather than clear this dangerous debris, the Environment Agency has launched its seasonal campaign of shingle-shifting, using huge lorries to replace what shingle is left to the centre of the bay from Splash Point and the Tidemills area. Apart from helping to turn what shingle remains to coarse sand, which inevitably "cliffs" under storm conditions, making access to the beach difficult and even dangerous, these lorry movements are grinding the latest pollutant delivery into the beach itself, where it will remain. This crushed debris includes shards of glass and plastic to cut unwary feet in the summers to come.

Once upon a time Seaford Town Council held regular meetings with officers of the EA to discuss, and often resolve, issues like this. Now I hear that these meetings take place rarely, if ever. Why not? It must be in the interests of the Town Council to have a safer beach for visitors around the year.

Bob Brown
Tel: 01323 872226