At 20 UK beaches, 1844 respondents were interviewed, 421 on the southern shore of the Bristol Channel, England, 660 in north and middle Wales, and 763 in south Wales. The modal group was female aged 30–39, whilst professionals, retired people, and housewives were the main socioeconomic groupings. The research goal was to determine: how important the beach was to the user, the state of the beach with respect to litter aspects, and the offensiveness of various beach pollution types. The modal response to beach importance was that the beach was “very important” for holidays. Respondents generally perceived the beach grade to be in line with the actual beach litter grade assigned according to an official litter protocol. The exception was for results obtained from the southern shore of the Bristol Channel, where frequent occurrences of cotton buds (Q-tips) were often ignored by the public as being representative of a sewage transport system. At every beach, sewage-related debris (SRD) was rated as the most offensive pollution type followed by oil on both water and beach.
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Vol. 2008 • No. 243