The discarded plastic bottles that are threatening marine life. And celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Fylingdales listening station.
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In the evening and welcome to the Inside Out. Tonight we are in
Scarborough. Tonight we investigate the plastic pill that is threatening
wildlife here in scribe and ride along the East coastal. This fixed
down into the chain and these ads leak out into the beach. Also
tonight, the secret location where we go inside the 50th anniversary of
this building. I always wanted to know what goes on in there.
Armenia. —— football mania. The man capturing full ball from the fans
point of view. —— football. The coast here in Scarborough is a
playground but the litter and plastic waste that is left behind is
causing a real problem for local wildlife. A marine expert has been
travelling up and down the coast to find out more.
The beautiful coastline of England, miles of sand and open sea. You just
can't beat it. But this stretch of coast, like many others in Britain,
has a problem and it's caused by us. I've been diving the world's oceans
for more than 40 years and plastic waste is an increasing problem. Even
the pristine looking lake near my home has become a dumping ground for
rubbish of all shapes and sizes and plastic debris worries me the most.
It's out there in the ecosystem, getting into the food chain and
harming wildlife. And as top of the food chain predator myself, goodness
knows what it might be doing to me. This is
coast's most popular resorts, but the folk on the beach aren't here to
dig sand castles but to find plastic waste. We have been doing these
clean—ups for around 20 years and the main reason we do it is to
collect data on the type of litter we are finding.
So armed with a bag, gloves and a healthy desire to get stuck in,
let's see what I can find. For me it's an alarming problem
especially as nearly all of this rubbish is stuff we carelessly throw
away. Even a little bit of plastic like that, it is only a small piece
on this fairly clean beach but as soon as that gets into the sea and
breaks down, the real problems begin. It becomes micro—plastic when
it breaks down and that gets into the birds and into the fish and into
us and it's a disaster. 70% of marine litter is plastic and the
vast majority of debris comes from the land. It was the bottom of a
traffic cone and you see these blue Edinburgh, loading off the road. ——
blown everywhere. —— blown off the road. This is incredibly hazardous
to the environment and when this is broken down it becomes an magnet
itself more pollution. —— thermal pollution. It's a piece of hazardous
waste. You say that. This is plastic rope and breaks down and into the
food chain. These bits leach out and finally into the food chain. I am
now the owner of a seven metre long piece of toxic waste. I hope this
might enter our recycling bag. All in all, not a bad haul for an
hour's work! Nine kilos of waste and that's just my contribution. But
it's not just the big items of plastic that we need to be worried
about. In its raw form plastic is moved around the globe as billions
of tiny pellets that will be remoulded at a later date. And when
these items find their way into our oceans, you can see how easy it is
for a fish or bird to mistake them for a tasty snack. We are trying to
see if toxins are getting into the fishes. We could then be eating
these toxins. It's a big worry and we are investigating it at the
moment. It is a sobering thought. You might wonder what we'd do
without plastics, but we're not the only species to have developed a
special relationship with this synthetic material. At Britain's
biggest mainland gannet colony at Bempton near Bridlington,
generations of birds have learnt to live with our waste, lining their
nests with discarded plastic netting and ropes.
don't mix well and to find out more I'm going to get closer to a sea
bird than I've ever done before. These are fulmars, true ocean going
sea birds of the waters around Britain. They're beautiful animals
and close relatives of albatrosses. And here at the Dove Marine Science
Lab near Newcastle, research is underway to see how much plastic
waste they're consuming. They eat all sorts of rubbish from the ocean
surface so almost every bird has some plastic in the summer. On
average it will be about 0.3 grams. It might not look that serious in a
small jar, but on a scale, if I scale it up to human, it would
equate to this average content. If I have the equivalent of what an
average one of these birds has I would have this. Yes.The problem
with all of this is that it takes up room. Normally good food would
occupy the space. Yes. Researchers have been collecting
dead fulmars and carrying out autopsies and the results have been
surprising. On the face of it these are healthy
looking birds that have just met an unfortunate end. Initial checks show
them to be adults, but they died, we're going to have to
take a look inside their stomachs. It's not a pretty sight seeing
what's these birds have eaten but it's the best way of gauging how
much plastic is being consumed. These beautiful ends of feathers...
It is a +. Now we have them open, we can see what has happened. The bird
has died slowly. The research shows starvation is a
common cause of death. What is all about? It is plastic.Look at that.
That looks like it could be a plastic loop. And the amazing thing
is if that was me it would be 100 times the size of this. We are
talking about something that big. It would have an enormous effect on my
health. Food should be going in but is this thing is leaching out, it's
releasing toxic chemicals and it would affect my health. It'd be easy
to think that there's not much that can be done to halt the rising tide
of plastic waste. Let's face it, there is an enormous amount of
plastic waste going into overseas but we can do something about
Like this project here in Newcastle. By collecting stuff in
the river, we stopped going out into the sea and it is much easier to
stop it at this stage. This project collects about 100 tonnes of debris
every year. At CEFAS, the government's marine
research centre in Lowestoft, our plastic waste problem is being taken
seriously. European directives in 2016 will mean we'll all have to do
more to stop plastics getting into the sea. It can take hundreds of
years for plastics to disappear, so do these items ever disappear?
Warrant the naked eye it might look as if they did not but fragments and
so many thousands of people are not visible to the naked eye, they are
still there. —— to the naked eye. Is a biodegradable? Some of it is
biodegradable and it looks as if some of it has gone but it has not.
The big question is whether we're sitting on a plastic waste
time—bomb. But there's one way to minimise the risk to wildlife and
ourselves and that's to do all we can to stop plastic getting in the
sea in the first place. Of course if you have any views on
that story or anything else we are covering, get in touch with us on
the usual ways. Coming up... Football mad. The man who loves to
food for —— to photograph the passion on the faces of the fans.
Just up the road from here there is a place which has had a model of
mystery attached to it. We used to convert the golf balls but it is
much more like the pyramids now! As it approaches its 50th anniversary
our correspondent has been given behind—the—scenes access at this
remarkable building. The North York moors are a remote
wilderness and 50 years ago they became the site of one of the most
important cogs in the defence mechanism of the Western World.
This is RAF Fylingdales and this is one of the most sophisticated and
powerful radars in the world. It's the successor to the iconic
golf balls which sat on Fylingdales Moor until the early '90s. For 50
years, Fylingdales primary mission has been to provide early warning to
the western superpowers of a potential nuclear missile attack.
But the story of RAF Fylingdales actually begins more than 50 years
ago. In October 1957, the Russians
launched the first satellite into space, Sputnik One. This event was
to be the starting pistol for the space race between Russia and the
USA. Sputnik is an earth satellite on a
Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile and at the same time the
Soviets engage in a series of megaton tests of huge H bombs. What
happens in 1957 catches the West by surprise and it looks like the
Soviets have leapt ahead. In advance the US and UK started planning the
deterrent series of three early warning systems. And so in 1961,
here on this remote moorland, Fylingdales iconic golf balls began
to take shape. They cost £45m to build, two thirds of which was paid
for by the USA. The base was controversial from the start.
Antinuclear protestors made regular appearances at the site. But the
protests had little effect and RAF Fylingdales became fully operational
on the 17th of September 1963. Completed in Yorkshire is this new
early warning system designed to give Europe security from nuclear
attack. Enid Winspear was a young secretary
there when John F Kennedy was assassinated.
You could feel this atmosphere. It was electric. The President of
America has been shot. W're on red alert. In those days one man
somewhere could press a button and that would be it. For the duration
of the Cold War, the reader pointed to the soviet union ready for
attack. But the Cold War ended
became less defined. In the 1990's, the golf balls came down and a new
radar was built which could watch in all directions.
For years Fylingdales forbidding appearance has made people think of
it as a secret base, but these days they're trying to be as open as they
can be about what they do. So, I'm looking forward to finding
out exactly what goes on in there. Security is high. It is level one.
The same as the nuclear submarine base at Faslane in Scotland. I'm met
by Squadron leader Steve England, the man in charge of operations
here. The radar's 40 metres high with a total of 9000 antennae,
producing a radar beam of enormous intensity. It's quite a view. It's
fantastic. If we could see the radar beam now, it's almost instantaneous,
shoots out to a distance of 3,000 nautical miles, 360 degrees around
the radar. The reach is important because the further out we can see,
the better the early warning we would get of a missile event. For
our space missions, we can see a great number of the objects that are
in low Earth orbit. But it's what they're doing inside the radar
that's fascinating. This might look like a normal office to you, but any
moment this could happen... SHOUTING.
This is a vital training session, drilling the crew on how to react to
the radar detecting a missile attack. What just happened? We were
following what appears to be the launch of a missile through the air.
The computer will predict where it's likely to impact. How does the radar
passes through this base of missile coverage, we can follow its track as
it's travelling through the air. They have just 60 seconds to verify
that it is a real attack. Once it is confirmed, the information is
escalated to the top of the US and UK command chains and from then on,
it is out of Fylingdales' hands. In the last decade, the radar has been
upgraded to improve the accuracy of its missile tracking so that the USA
can develop its programme of interceptor missiles. This has led
to opposition by antinuclear groups. Lindis Percy is a seasoned peace
campaigner. US missile defence is an offensive system, couched in
defence. It's creating a lot of international tension. The UK being
involved with it means that we are not in control. It's this special
relationship whereby we do what the Americans want. Station commander
Rayna Owen is keen to emphasise that Fylingdales is a British run base.
The US originally provided us with the radar and they provide me with
upgrades, the UK does the rest and contrary to popular opinion, I only
have one US liaison officer who is here to do what it says on the tin,
he liaises back to the US chain of command. Some believe that
supporting American missile defence could put the UK at risk. Missile
warning and our role in missile defence is part of what keeps the
world free from attack, so I do not have any issues with that.
Fortunately, there are very few real missile launches. Most of the time,
they are keeping track of the thousands of man—made objects which
are orbiting the Earth. Steve England shows me to the Fylingdales'
nerve centre. This is an above ground bunker and the entrace to the
space operations room. We have got a record of everything back to
Sputnik. Sputnik was actually object number two in our catalogue and
we're up to about object number 35,000 now. Why is it so important
that you know where everything is? Well, the biggest concern that, with
our reliance on space for just about everything we do in the modern
world, is that we don't want objects to collide into satellites that are
doing essential tasks such as mobile phone or communications or radio.
And one particularly dramatic space event added to Fylingdales'
workload. China is facing international criticism after using
a ballistic missile to destroy a satellite.
As well as underlining China's growing arms capabilities, it had a
catastrophic effect in space. The issue for the space using community
was that that satellite destruction caused over 2,000 pieces of debris,
most of which is still orbiting around today and that will be around
for quite a few years. Which is why manned spacecraft like the
International speciation relies on Fylingdales for its safety. —— space
station. For half a century, the role of Fylingdales has evolved to
serve the needs of a changing world. Since the end of the Cold War, the
threat of a missile attack could come from anywhere and the number of
objects in space is increasing daily. But the existence of this
military base continues to split opinion. Fylingdales will become
more and more important over the next 50 years. This is not the end
of the story, it is not a Cold War story, it is a global uncertainty
story. We should be looking much more for alternatives to violence,
building relationships with other states because it is such a worrying
world. Fylingdales offers so much to national defence and security. The
future of Fylingdales is secured. Space is getting busier and there
will be a requirement for this site for many years to come.
Now to some people, football is more than a game, it is a religion. It
has definitely taken over the life of photographer Stuart Roy Clarke
who has devoted 25 years to documenting the changing face of the
game. But not on the pitch, in the stands. Watching the highs and lows
of the fans. It is the most romantic thing I can
think of. I think going to football matches is up there with anything
else. Tonight, Wigan Athletic are fighting for Premiership survival
and Stuart Roy Clarke has, along for the roller—coaster ride.
stadium, even round the neighbourhood, several times. I like
to be the first there. I'd like to get all the tops of
their heads in the sunset. Hopefully when they're scoring a goal.
The club has been in the relegation fight before. Everyone is jumpy.
Ideal material for Stuart. There's a guy here who's going through all
sorts of emotions and tortures. His wife's sat next to him. A whole
series of expressions.. All of the other photographers at
the game are shooting the other way. I'd like to see Stuart here. Come
and sit here with this big lens. You get a sore bum after sitting down
this long. Must be some interesting characters up there. You have got to
be able to see the pictures and Stuart sees the pictures, he sees
the characters, the personalities. Usually he does the whole package in
one frame. My dad gave me a succession of
cameras, Polaroid ones. It came out the front, magically, so you could
show it to people. In that sense, photography is magic. Stuart started
from an early age, as a lad on the subs bench. Because I was on the
bench, I had a chance to look at the back of the manager, what is he up
to, there's some parents over there. They don't come very often. I love
the actual playing of the game. But all of that is of equal interest.
Stuart is back in of one of his favourite hunting grounds — Roker in
Sunderland where the old football ground was and where it all kicked
off for him. Over there, that broken glass, I was standing there and I
could see this flood of light. I had not really thought of photographing
it as a subject. And then I started thinking, do you know what...? But
that gave me the idea in a way. Stuart had found his subject. The
homes of football. And it was perfrect timing. The game was
changing fast. After the Hillsborough disaster stadiums were
modernised and the creation of the Premier League pumped millions into
football. I'm not just somebody who's a nostalgist. I love the new
stadiums. Not as much as I loved the old ones, but I like lots of things.
I like progress, I like change. As long as we do not lose what has gone
before. It is my job to catch it before it goes. This last 20 years
has been fascinating, and I've been a privileged position. I've got a
duty to hand over what I've seen. What he has recorded is a social
history through the eyes of fans. I always thought the ground was the
most constant, actually it is not, it is the fans. The baton is handed
from one set of fans to the next, be they friends, strangers, or the next
generation. Wonderful. Stewart is at Bradford
City and the fans are dreaming of promotion. We're off to the Kop, the
mighty Kop. The drama in the last 20 minutes of the game.
The fans went home disappointed, but it was a different picture in the
second leg when Bradford's dream season ended in promotion. Much of
Stuart's work is housed here at the national football museum in
Manchester. The planning began for his next exhibition earlier this
year. I've got a lot of stuff up my sleeve. I'm going to put 30 or 40
pictures out here in the atrium. They will be the first thing people
see and it's really exciting. This one could well feature at the
Museum, celebrating the amateur game. Decorator by day, Adam is
turning out for the other Sunderland team tonight in the Northern League.
I enjoy these games as much as the big ones. The big ones do have the
glamour. I love taking pictures at this level and then putting them
next to Manchester United. They are of equal importance. It has always
been one of the joys. Back in Wigan, the relegation fight
is into the last round. The girl jumping up and down.
Despite giving it everything, they lose. I am affected at the end of
it. I go home thinking about it. It means so much to people. It is not a
bereavement, there are worse things in life, but for now, they will be
pretty glum. But, for me, a lot of great photographs of people going
through all the emotions. Despite all the money in the game and its
not necessarily filtering down, I just find it an unbelievable
spectacle. I don't think I can tear myself away from it. I'll see you
next season. Look forward to it. That is all from us tonight. Join us
next week. We will be spending time at a busy accident and emergency
department and asking if GPs hold the key to helping chronically ill
patients lead healthier lives and stay out of hospital.
Toby Foster investigates the stories that matter in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. This week, we go to the East Coast to find out why the plastic bottles we throw away are threatening marine life. Also Nicola Rees goes behind the scenes at Fylingdales listening station in its 50th anniversary year and we meet the photographer who travels around the country's football grounds taking photographs of fans.