Gloves find shocks young beach hero

Gloves find shocks young beach hero

29 November 2017

YOUNG environmental hero Charlie Hamilton-Cooper isn’t shocked by much on his regular beach cleans.

But on Sunday — as he notched up his 19th clean-up — the five year-old was stunned by what he found at Tyrella.

While picking up litter in just one half of the beach, Charlie found 84 fisherman’s gloves.

The colourful collection, gathered in just over an hour, were then posed in a ‘Stop This’ message on Tyrella beach.

The Crossgar youngster, who began gathering litter at local beaches earlier this year, has spent many weekends collecting rubbish that is dumped on local beaches or is washed ashore.

Since March he has completed 19 beach cleans, mostly in County Down.

Charlie began his campaign after hearing his mum and dad discussing a report of how plastic in the sea 

is killing wildlife. He was so interested in the conversation he decided he wanted to do something about it, so his family came up with the idea of collecting litter on the beaches.

Dad Jonathan Hamilton-Cooper explained Sunday’s haul.

“We tend to do a walk to the end of the beach and litter pick on the way back,” he said. “It was just half the beach we did at Tyrella but we just couldn’t believe the amount of rubber gloves we found. “We started picking them up as well as other stuff and there were 84 fisherman’s gloves. It makes you wonder how many are out there. 

“You always do see them. But even when we have been to Portavogie, at the heart of a fishing port, there were not as many as Tyrella.”

Jonathan said he didn’t want to have a go at the fishing industry but that there was clearly a problem. He believes gloves on the decks of fishing boats may also be sliding into the sea.

“We know they are out there making a living and doing a great job but obviously what’s happening isn’t right,” he said.

“What we found at Tyrella shocked us all. We do find the gloves on a regular basis but I have never seen as many as this.”

As part of the ‘Charlie’s Quest to Save Our Oceans’ social media campaign, a tweet highlighting the glove problem has so far been retweeted over 600 times.

“We have had retweets from as far away as India, Japan and America, which is incredible,” said Jonathan.

Charlie’s efforts were also recently recognised in the SuperValu’s SuperStar competition in which he was a finalist.

“When we saw all the finalists and heard their stories, the winner was very, very deserving,” Jonathan added. “Just to be a finalist was such a proud moment for Charlie.”