Taunton student on eco-mission to clean up Lilstock beach
By abbie_taunton | Thursday, February 14, 2013, 13:04
A local teenager has taken it upon herself to raise awareness about the effects of ocean littering with a Somerset beach clean-up this February.
Local teenager Abbie Barnes with Nigel Phillips from Somerset Wildlife Trust Living Seas who will be attending the Minehead beach clean-up this February
16 year-old Abbie Barnes attends Richard Huish College in Taunton where she is working towards her life's dream - becoming a wildlife conservationist and natural history film maker.
The budding ecologist is urging people to join in with her February beach clean-up on Lilstock beach near Minehead.
She already has some classmates on board with her eco mission but Abbie is desperate to spread the word and get the local community involved.
Abbie said: "I feel so strongly that we have a duty to protect the planet that we have been given which is why I organised this beach clean-up.
"Although we should take from the planet, we must always remember to give - sadly, we often forget that part.
"I am also filming a short film about plastics in the ocean on the day of the clean, to both raise awareness and to enter into the EcoTales youth competition.
"The idea has inspired me to carry on the project throughout the year, but the short film deadline is at the end of March.
She added: "I will be filming and interviewing Nigel Phillips, who works for the Somerset Wildlife Trust Living Seas. He is aiming to bring some other experts along on the day, to be interviewed and to talk to members of the public who come along."
Ever since Abbie was a young girl she has felt the urge to help conserve the planet and support wildlife across the world, and this is not her first conservation project.
"My passion for conservation has been a life-long thing," she explained.
"My mum said one of my first words was 'birdie' and that I spent hours in front of geography books before I could even read. I have always had a huge love of wildlife and seen everything as the best gift of creation"
She continued: "I haven't done a project like this before so it is all new to me. Although I film wildlife locally, I have never created a film for a competition like this.
"I am treating it as professionally as possible, and after reading some wildlife film-making books that I got for Christmas, I have been ringing and meeting experts, researching and creating storyboards and going through them with a variety of people."
Abbie's clean-up takes place on February 24 from 11am - 1pm and she will be filming throughout the day.
Those who attend will be filmed over the three hour event and Abbie will provide forms on site to confirm people are happy being on camera.
Abbie added: "It would be fantastic to have other members of the public come along and help clean up the beach, as not only does it help raise awareness and clean up the coastal landscape, but also it gets people outside on a damp February morning!
"Even if the weather is too bad to film, the clean-up will go on regardless - that is the most important thing to me."
For more information on the clean-up you can contact Abbie via her e-mail email@example.com