An unusual request from the BBC Natural History Unit saw Turn the Tide (TTT) Portishead spring into action recently doing what it does best: collecting waste washed up on Portishead’s shores. Although the volunteer group regularly heads out in the name of keeping Portishead clean, on this occasion they were asked specifically to gather 100 kilos of human manufactured waste for use in BBC filming.

“At first we thought 100 kilos sounded a lot,” said TTT secretary Chris Duffy. “But eventually the booty came to 120 kilos containing all sorts of things.” A rusty gas cylinder, whiteboard, traffic cones, metal bars and scaffolding were among the more unusual items found, as well as more common culprits such as empty alcohol bottles and many a disposable beach barbecue. “Collecting was done by the TTT team and myself over several weekends, including some items from the last Portishead Big Clean,” said Chris, who later weighed the collection and arranged for it to be delivered. Once filming wraps, the BBC has assured TTT it will dispose of the waste appropriately, in line with the group’s own ethos of recycling as much as it can of what it finds and minimising what ends up in landfill.

To find out more about Turn the Tide Portishead and their monthly Portishead Big Clean events, visit or follow them on Facebook.

Pictured: Some of TTT’s booty from the waste collection