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Suffolk artist, Fran Crowe, creates beach souvenirs with a difference to highlight the problems of beach and marine litter.

On Easter Monday, artist Fran Crowe will be setting up stall on Thorpeness beach with an exclusive range of souvenirs, unique to Thorpeness, in order to raise awareness about the problems caused by beach litter. Greatly concerned about environmental issues, Fran has collected man-made litter from Thorpeness beach and packaged it to present to visitors as the ideal souvenir for their trip to the beach.

Fran says, ‘I am particularly concerned about the increase in plastic debris on the beach which presents a real risk to wildlife as well as spoiling the beach for visitors. The idea of this project is that not only am I helping to clear up the beach but I will also be highlighting the problem to visitors in a humorous and interesting way. I also hope my stall will contribute useful publicity for the issue in support of the great work done by organisations such as the Marine Conservation Society (& their Beachwatch programme, in particular) and the Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society.’
Whilst the items on the stall will not really be for sale, Fran will be happy to give them away in return for a small donation to the above charities. There will also be a challenge at the stall for children to find the one item in the collection which is not man-made. Fran will be giving a mini Easter egg to all children who can identify the right item.
Fran will be running similar events at other Suffolk beaches in the summer months. In addition, Fran aims to franchise the idea nationwide. Says Fran, ‘The idea is a marketeer’s dream: an unlimited supply of completely unique products providing an unbeatable souvenir, specific to the location. What’s more walking on the beach collecting items is a thoroughly enjoyable experience and the more of us who do it, the better it will be for the environment’. Interested entrepreneurs may contact Fran at
Gill Bell of the Marine Conservation Society says, "Marine litter is known to kill marine animals such as whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles and seabirds. Animals can die from eating litter or by becoming entangled by it. MCS are very pleased that Fran is raising awareness of the issue of marine litter. You can help by joining our marine litter projects Beachwatch and Adopt-a-Beach."
Peter Gibson, Spokesperson for the Blue Flag - the world's premier award for clean beaches - said: "While those who look after our beaches have made dramatic improvements to the state of our coastline, people still dump far too much rubbish when they visit there. Fran's art may be humorous and eye-catching but it is all also challenging in that it reminds all of us of the damage litter can do to wildlife and the image of the British seaside."
"Anything that can be done to raise awareness about the terrible way we deal with our rubbish is a great help " said Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB Manager Simon Hooton. "The AONB is beautiful and litter can only lessen its attraction. Fran's innovative and humorous way of doing this should reach some more people. We must stop dropping litter and letting it blow or float around anywhere - and that means being brave and asking those that do to stop. We also need to change our lifestyles to stop generating so much rubbish in the first place". Past projects Fran has undertaken include giving away free trial packs of Fresh Air from five different locations to shoppers at the Buttermarket in Ipswich and handing out carrier bags ‘sealed for your own protection’ and wallet/credit card stickers to shoppers at Chapelfields in Norwich to highlight Buy Nothing Day.
For further information about the project or to arrange an interview, please contact:
For further information regarding beach litter, see the Beachwatch 2005 report issued this week and available at
For information on the Blue Flag scheme, see and
For more information on Suffolk Coasts and Heaths and what local action is being taken to improve our beaches, see
Information on the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society can be found at


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