In recent years Avril Sainsbury has been one of the drivers in helping Bude’s beaches, increasing awareness around plastics in the ocean.
Avril grew up in Bude before moving away to work in London and Bath, but returned to her home-town to allow her three children to experience growing-up near the sea.
Since returning, she has been a staple in the growth of the Cleaner Seas Project, beginning her journey in 2013.
One of her first tasks was to work within the community to ensure that bathing water in Bude met the 2015 EU standards. This meant she was needed to research and educate what was going down the drains as well as seeping from fields and into rivers.
Since then, she has gone on to hold her own talks, begin a start-up enterprise and has been a broadcaster for talking about plastic issues in the ocean.
In 2016 she held a Wave conference at Life’s a Beach and invited speakers, such as Martin Dorey (#2minutebeachclean). This is where Avril kick-started her interest in the damage caused by micro-plastics. She has been raising awareness ever since and has held talks in schools and small groups in the local area.
She has also raised awareness on social media, with the CleanerSeasProject account having more than 10,000 followers on Twitter — including former Primer Minister, Theresa May.
In conjunction with the Greener Bude initiatives, Avril, alongside others, sent MP Michael Gove a Bude Refill Cup as well as the entire Cabinet, increasing the awareness of Bude’s passion for the ocean.
Avril has been flying the sustainability flag across the country and was asked by Emma Howard Boyd, the chair of the Environment Agency to help make the London Cambridge Boat Race more sustainable.
More recently, Avril has been working alongside four others in a grass-routes start-up campaign, the Cleaner Seas Group (see page 3 for details). A clear advocate for sustainability and for cleaner oceans, Avril described what has been her inspiration. She said: “It first started for Bude Cleaner Seas and the Environment Agency project, which I just jumped on. I live there and work there so you can see first-hand what it means for the community. You just want to help the place you live.
“Bude as a community just get it and want to help where they live. I remember taking part on a Widemouth Task Force beach clean and Ado (Ado Shorland) was well ahead of the curve we see today.
“My job is in design and marketing, and in Bude tourism is important. We want the oceans to be clean for both marine life and our own health but it also attracts tourism. People come in the summer to swim and for water sports. Without clean seas, Bude wouldn’t have the tourist economy to survive.”
Avril is still driving the Cleaner Seas Project as well as the intention of the new kickstarter campaign, which she hopes, once making profit, can be reinvested into groups that support cleaner seas.