Did this sachet float from China to the UK or was it chucked off a ship? It was unopened. We also found a sealed jar of Nescafe Gold that had been bobbing around the Solent, and often pick up brand new, full cans of beer.
Forlorn channel markers can be heavy to shift. I had to ask what this grey gadget, below, was. It’s a compass guard. Anyone missing one?
Ancient plastic bottles often wash up on a beach. We dated the Paragon bleach as being made in 1959 but are not sure about the Fairy Liquid.
I fear this is evidence that open pen-knifes get flung from moving vehicles.
This quivering load of extra-large incontinence pads was chucked in the nature reserve, which un-nerved me. It was incredibly heavy. I found something so unspeakable nearby I could not take a photo of it. A whole shipping container of adult nappies washed up on the south cast recently. They are heavy to move.
This cash of antique Kilner jars was dug out of mud on the Solent. There is no wave action here, so the broken glass must have been posing a danger to paddling children, dogs, New Forest ponies and wildlife for decades.
I found a huge rusty gas canister on the Solent shore that looked so like a UXB that we reported it to the police. They told me WWII bombs still need to be detonated every three months or so. It was near where I have found intact fluorescent light bulbs washed up on two separate occasions. I’ve kept them as exhibits. They must have been flung off ships.
We often find crisp packets or drink cans that are more than thirty years old. This tin left in a nature reserve must once have contained UHT milk.
I come across a lot of old milk bottles. This one had converted into a nice, dry home by a mouse. I left it in situ.
This 25 litre barrel washed up on the shore, that once held bleach, had been gnawed by foxes.
What was eating this ancient plastic bottle? A mouse? How old is the design? 1990 or earlier. Thirty-five years?
Why do people knot plastic wrappers before throwing them out of their vehicle? I think it’s weird. Most packets, wrappers or cans once clad tobacco, sugary sweets or drinks that are bad for the health. Rubbish from drug use or cannabis farms is common. I find bongs, and endless nitrous oxide canisters, which surely should be banned.
These rather nice reading glasses were inside a stolen handbag chucked in the river. Sadly, I’ve found stolen iPhones, laptops, jewellry boxes and makeup bags.
Old traffic cones, signs and car parts are often found on verges or in the estuary. I use the purple bucket to collect broken glass.
I often come across half-full glasses or bottles of alcohol, presumably left as soon as the taxi arrives. I take them to the nearest pub but they don’t always want them back.
There are bonuses to litter-picking. Sometimes you find money. I was thrilled to come across the mudguard from my husband’s car that had fallen off. It would have been almost impossible to replace.
I find loads of hats, gloves, socks, tee-shirts and shoes. They are seldom claimed.
I wash and give away the caps but underwear goes straight into landfill.
Apart from the Chinese sachet of Cremora, one plastic box from the Clyde and another from Plymouth, the item that I’ve found that must have travelled the furthest is this fishing crate that had floated 400kms from its original harbour in France.
This was printed on the other side:
To see examples of elderly rubbish found by the sea, please click here
For a list of items I’ve found on Solent beach cleans, please click here
Do add descriptions of weird items you’ve found in the comments below. Fellow litter-pickers report bathtubs, credit card machines and an urn of ashes that was returned to the local undertaker.
Meanwhile, I’m putting together a post on the most beautiful things I’ve found while litter picking.
9 thoughts on “Diary of a Beachcomber: 20 oldest or weirdest things I’ve found while litter picking”
Sophie , what a depressing set of photos! But need to be shared!
A couple on Ytube channel ‘gone with the wynns’ are stuck on Fiji on there way back to Tonga where they left their boat . They have been picking trash on the beach there similiar and a lot of ‘ex-plastic water pouchs’ from survival stores from life boat etc! Unfortunately this plastic has to be extra durable . Sad statecraft of affairs . Cheers Warren
The task of beach cleaning is gargantuan but if we all do a bit, when we can, it has to help. do you ever go litter-picking?
Well done, Sophie. I’m sure the S,A’s & D’s and all good Scouts would be proud of you. As am I……………
Thank you! I try to collect a little every day. It gets me out with the dog. Do you ever go litter-picking?
It is sad to see so much stuff littering what should be a beautiful place. Some of the things really are, truly weird! I am glad you found your husband’s mudguard though; I expect he was pleased too!
Thrilled about the mudguard! I often find lost things, which are posted on the local Facebook page and often reunited with their owners. You’ll see my list on a previous post.
I think the idea of points on a Driving Licence for those who drop litter and or fly tip is brilliant. When out litter picking I have had dog walkers try to give me their bags of dog poo, and have also been told that I have missed litter – when I offer them my sack and ‘litter-picker’ they get very offended and offer excuses like they have children, or tell me it is my job, my reply to these comments is I have 2 children and it is not my job. My local council (Buckinghamshire) is quite good on clearing fly-tipping. Total Respect to Sophie Neville.