I sometimes forget how stunningly beautiful the East Coast of England can be. Flamborough is a place that Dev and his family have been coming to since he was a little kid. This is the place they had their summer vacations; swimming, rock-pooling, frog-catching, flying kites, and hiking the coastline. And it has continued to be a favourite place in adulthood. Now both his siblings share a caravan (static trailer for the North Americans among us) with his mum, and so the next generation of Clayton kids enjoys the pleasure of “going to the van”.
We have been here for the past few days, and it has actually been sunny and warm for the most part. Not hot like it is on PEI right now, but warm enough for the kids to enjoy the beaches and get some colour – very pleasant, and not at all sweaty! It has been great for our kids to play here with their cousins. Darragh is especially impressed by the rocky coves and caves. Liah is enjoying them as well, but she did quietly and very diplomatically remark today, “Its funny how people from England think this is sand” (referring to the courser, pebbly sand that is typical in the local bays).
One thing all the girls have commented on, though, that mars the beauty of the place a little bit, is the garbage. There are a lot of people in England, and so naturally, the amount of waste that ends up on the ground is a little different from PEI where we probably have about 10 square miles per person! The first day we walked the trail down to the bay, Darragh said we should bring a bag next time and collect garbage on our way down. Yesterday we walked down to another bay, and she commented again – as well as the traditional trash, there were a few scattered old socks and even a couple of pairs of men’s underwear molded to the lovely limestone rocks! Then Liah suggested we come down and clean up because “it is our responsibility since we live on the Earth; I learned that in school. If we were aliens, we wouldn’t have to clean up”. Yes, Liah, a very good point.
So, today we will arm ourselves with some garbage bags, and we will combine our walk to the shore with a bit of cleaning up. Because our kids have given us an environmental education here, and what would we be teaching them if we just left it because it’s “someone else’s garbage”?