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4 Aug 2013

Ecological beach cleaning

St Martin de Brehal is a seaside resort near Granville, in the Bay of Mont St Michel. It has a couple of miles of sandy beaches, a restaurant, a bar/brasserie, and a standard bar, plus a couple of shops selling beach stuff. At one end of the beach there are commercial mussel beds, which are visible at low tide.
St Martin de Brehal looking towards Granville, August 2013

Like most French beaches, local equivalents of bye laws forbid playing radios, and taking dogs on the beach from May to October. Unlike many British beaches, St Martin de Brehal has no litter problem. This is partly because in general the French take their rubbish away with them, and the French are very keen on keeping everything propre – clean and tidy.
Nonetheless, in high summer when there are a lot of people on the beach, some litter does appear. Some of it is odd bits of paper that blew away unnoticed, some is just odd items overlooked in the chaos of a family with a couple of young children trying to gather up all the clothes, toys, and other stuff they had to bring, and some of it is brought in from who knows where by the tide. The rubbish has always been collected at the end of the day, not a big job.
A week ago, when the temperature was over 30 degrees in the shade, and the summer season is well under way, I was sitting on the beach while my wife and a friend paddled in the sea, after a good dinner in the restaurant. Behind us, the few bits of rubbish left on the beach were being collected.
Each piece of litter was put in the appropriate dustbin on the donkeys' backs – the recycling rules are followed everywhere.

(There are other references to St Martin de Brehal, including pictures, on this blog: Here

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