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On a damp, cold morning in early December, 18 hikers assembled and embarked on a long train ride to Hastings. Apart from observing the comings and goings of the seaside town, with amusing stores including the Cod Father (which I can only assume sells fish and chips!), the hikers arrived at Hastings Beach.

Upon arrival, we swiftly got to work, purging the beach of any litter. Armed with gloves and litter pickers no plastic bag, glass bottle or shoe sole was spared. We collected lots small bits of litter, from all along the seashore in front of the town. Despite the strong winds (which nearly cancelled the beach clean!) and rain, the hikers emerged successful.

Filled with warm hearts from our volunteering, we began the hiking part of our day. What began as a simple (albeit long) staircase eventually morphed into some steep, slippery countryside slopes.

The walk took us along coastal paths and through rural fields of sheep (the weather prevented any good views all day!). Despite the mud and rain, our team eventually arrived at Winchelsea. As per hiking tradition, we finished off our adventure with a jolly good time at the local pub, The New Inn. Warming up indoors, Christmas tunes kept our spirits high and our feet rested before taking the train back to London King’s Cross.

As part of our pledge towards a greener Student Union, UCL Hiking Club has partnered with the Marine Stewardship Council. MSC volunteers run frequent beach clean events across the UK to keep our oceans health and full of life. Our Hiking Club sees this as a great opportunity to give something back to nature and try to reduce humankind’s damage on our natural environment.

Our next beach cleaning eco-hike is planned for 3rd March 2019.

Follow our social media (@uclhiking) for the latest updates.

- Valerie Seah