1197. Bill Dale
Bill Dale, from the Isle of Man, is the founder of ‘Beach Buddies’, a charity running more than 200 beach cleans a year to ensure the Manx coastline is one of the cleanest in Europe.
After conducting clean-ups with a friend and collecting more than 30,000 pieces of litter over six weekends, Bill launched the initiative across the Isle of Man in 2007 to encourage more people to get involved. The charity now has 12,000 registered volunteers, amounting to approximately 14 per cent of the island’s population, and in 2016 UNESCO granted the entire island biosphere reserve status as an outstanding example of a place where people and nature work in harmony. Most recently Bill launched the first ‘Isle of Man Environment Festival’ last month, which brought together the island’s largest environmental charities to raise awareness of marine pollution and was attended by more than 1,400 people.
Bill’s award follows World Oceans Day, the UN celebration of marine environments.
In a personal letter to Bill, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through ‘Beach Buddies’ you are pioneering awareness of marine pollution and ensuring that the Manx coastline is one of the cleanest in Europe. With your army of volunteers you are mobilising hundreds of clean-ups a year, which will have a long-standing impact on this beautiful environment.”
“This is a really nice surprise, and recognition for the achievements of our huge number of volunteers who I believe have made our island the cleanest in the world. We hope this award will help us spread the word around the world that people can get together and bring about exceptional positive changes to their environment.”