Volunteer picking up beach litter at Great British Beach Clean on Eastney Beach Portsmouth GBBC Billy Barraclough

By removing litter from the environment, you’ll help the ocean and the animals that live in it.

Litter picking for DofE

Litter picking is a direct action that makes a big difference to the ocean.

80% of litter in the sea starts on the land, so wherever you are, the simple act of removing a piece of litter from the environment prevents it from entering the seas and causing harm to marine animals.

Step-by-step plans

Our step-by-step plans show you how to run your own litter pick or beach clean:

Volunteers at the Great British Beach Clean on Hove BeachBilly Barraclough

Credit: Billy Barraclough

Be safe

Follow the guidance below and check out our dedicated health and safety advice before you begin:

  • Use a litter picker if you can, and wear thick gloves - gardening gloves work well.
  • Don’t pick up sharp items like needles or glass.
  • Don’t touch anything that might be dangerous chemicals or substances, and don’t try to move large or heavy items. Report these items to your local council’s waste department.
  • Don’t pick up or move injured or dead animals. You can report injured animals to the RSPA in England and Wales, or the SSPCA in Scotland.
  • Don’t climb up or under anything to retrieve litter.
  • Avoid litter picking along road verges, busy roads, near railway lines or on bridges. If you're litter picking near a river, be sure to stay well away from the water's edge.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.

DofE assessors

Unfortunately we don’t have the capacity to act as assessors for your DofE. We appreciate your support and would love to hear about what your plans. Please email us at education@mcsuk.org or tag us @mcsuk.

This project is funded by the Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies. It is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

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Co-funded by the European Union.

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