Environmental project added as swim fundraiser returns

VAZON will host hundreds of people tonight for a group swim to launch 30 Bays in 30 Days.

30 Bays in30 Days is back, with three citizen science awards added as well as beaches in Alderney for the first time. Left to right, Stuart Perfitt, managing director of sponsor, 30 bays organiser Liz Stonebridge and Helen Quin and Pierre Ehmann from The Clean Earth Trust.  (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29692634)
30 Bays in30 Days is back, with three citizen science awards added as well as beaches in Alderney for the first time. Left to right, Stuart Perfitt, managing director of sponsor, 30 bays organiser Liz Stonebridge and Helen Quin and Pierre Ehmann from The Clean Earth Trust. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29692634)

The annual fundraiser contributes towards raising the £1.6m. needed annually to offer free in-patient, respite and day care at Les Bourgs Hospice.

For the first time, participants can take part in marine citizen science projects on their swims, steered by the Clean Earth Trust.

As another first, five Alderney beaches are mapped, joining three Herm bays and the core 30 Guernsey bays, which have all been chosen for easy access and safety.

‘Last year we had over 1,500 people which was a record,’ said Les Bourgs fundraising administrator Liz Stonebridge.

It nearly doubled the previous 2019 record of 800 people.

‘It was an exceptional year, with a lot of people not going away, being just out of lockdown and having an amazing summer.’

Take up so far has been slower with 200 registered so far.

‘There is always a rush of sign-ups at the end. With it being the hospice’s 30th birthday, we really hope this is the year that people give it a go if they haven’t before. We appreciate the borders are opening up, so people can sign up and do as many bays as they can in July and finish in August.’

Adding new elements each year keeps it interesting, Ms Stonebridge said.

‘Since the Clean Earth Trust is focused on the preservation of our oceans and beaches, which are something we all enjoy, we have three citizen science projects lined up this year to go alongside.’

Swimmers are invited to record sightings of sea grass, marine wildlife and to do mini beach cleans on their swims.

‘It’s important to remember that beaches are habitats, and while we enjoy them our actions have a direct impact on marine life,’ said Helen Quin, CET community engagement lead.

‘This is a starting point where we can spark that interest and raised awareness throughout the year.’

Records can be submitted by scanning a QR code on signage designed by Pierre Ehmann, which will be installed below the usual 30 Bays signs.

Rocq Capital has sponsored the initiative for five years, and managing director Stuart Perfitt said participation has grown each year.

‘Last year was a record breaker, so if we could break that again it would be really fantastic,’ Mr Perfitt said.

‘There is that captive audience. It’s great to do and it’s great for Les Bourgs, which has been having a challenging year, so it is all the more important to support it this year.’

Registration details

To register or for more information, visit https://bit.ly/3qBw27g.

Registration fees are donations of £15 for adults or £5 for under 18s.

Registration will remain open throughout July, although those wishing to receive a map should register by Tuesday.

A shorter challenge of nine bays is available, as is a beach clean option.

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