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Paddle Pickup Launch - Let's Talk Plastic

  • by Heather Lampard
  • 21 Aug, 2017

As Robert Brault said, “The first requirement in taking a step in the right direction is to take a step in some direction”. This couldn’t be more true for Bex and Erin. Together, with paddles in hand, strength, passion and determination, they have set off on a 300km plastic adventure.

Image credit : www.paddlepickup.com

This Sunday (20th), I was invited to the launch of Paddle Pickup. Bex, Erin and a dedicated team of women are kayaking 300km from Bristol to London and collecting plastic they find floating in the waterways. You’d be mistaken if you thought this was just a clean-up exercise. This is so much more.

When faced with huge environmental problems - like plastic - how do you get the average Joe to stop, listen and hopefully, take action? This is a question that all environmental campaigners and conservation organisations face. Most know that pure campaigning doesn’t work and if they don’t, they’ll soon find out. The hardest thing about influencing change is that you have to connect and engage with the people you are trying to reach, something that is easier said than done. Paddling 300km in kayaks and camping along the way, Paddle Pickup is reaching out to people through adventure, and by simply doing something about it. This expedition shows that anyone can make a difference and one way is by tapping into the adventurer in all of us.
Plastic takes hundreds of years to degrade, so what happens to it in the meantime? I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw fish bite marks on these plastic bottles!

At the event, what struck a chord with me most (aside from the Paddle Pickup team) was unsurprisingly the guests. They were people who were not only engaging the public about plastic pollution, they were actually doing something about it. Everyone I spoke to or who gave a talk were driven by their own personal stories of how they made their own ‘plastic discovery’. In turn this gave them the inspiration and determination to make a difference. I felt more than inspiration from these people. I felt empowered to join them. So much so, I immediately signed up to a beach clean and had ideas sparking left, right and centre about how to involve the channel. I filmed Bex giving her talk which for me sums up everything I’m trying to describe, and she has kindly allowed me to post it on here.

Amongst the people who came to wish these plastic adventurers good luck on their journey were City to Sea , Incredible Oceans , Marine Conservation Society , Bristol Porridge Project, Pfree and many more.


Paddle Pickup has now begun and you can follow their journey and support their progress on Facebook . You can find out more on the Paddle Pickup  website and join their 5-step pledge to reduce plastic in your life


Best of Luck to everyone taking part, I can't wait to follow your story and see what you find on the way!


Heather X


Bristol Nature Channel Blog

by Heather Lampard 08 Oct, 2017
"How beautifully leaves grow old.

How full of light and colour are their last days."

- John Burroughs
by Heather Lampard 29 Aug, 2017
Welcome to our very first guest blog, written by the talented Liane Tancock - a local artist who uses her pen and paintbrush to explore the wonders of nature.
by Heather Lampard 21 Aug, 2017

This Sunday (20th), I was invited to the launch of Paddle Pickup. Bex, Erin and a dedicated team of women are kayaking 300km from Bristol to London and collecting plastic they find floating in the waterways. You’d be mistaken if you thought this was just a clean-up exercise. This is so much more.

by Heather Lampard 09 Jul, 2017
We didn’t go to the island just to film, the trip was actually a Christmas present from Jim. Puffins have been on my wildlife watch list for quite some time so you can imagine the excitement that ensued when I opened my present that morning! Six months later, puffin season began and I could cash in my present. We bought a tent, packed the world into our little car and off we went to the Pembrokeshire coast. We camped on the mainland, pretty much opposite the island at a place called Westhook Farm. I highly recommend it and not just for the convenient distance. You pitch up right on the coast so every day you can enjoy the sheer beauty of the place (although it was very chilly, even by Jim’s standards). 
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