Beach clean brings together young and old to tidy up shore

CLEANING UP Volunteers at the Lee-on-the-Solent litter pick. Picture: Paul Jacobs  (131486-1)
CLEANING UP Volunteers at the Lee-on-the-Solent litter pick. Picture: Paul Jacobs (131486-1)
The Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton, which is home to the George Thomas Building. Picture: Geograph

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AROUND 60 youngsters, parents and volunteers put on gloves to pick up litter in sunny Lee-on-the-Solent.

The summer beach clean saw children roaming the beach eagle-eyed, looking out for pieces of rubbish.

Anna Mellers, 33, of Ann’s Hill Road, in Gosport, brought along sons Oscar, six, and Isaac, two.

She said it was good to be out making a difference in the scorching weather.

‘It’s nice to just feel we’re making a difference,’ she said.

‘We use this beach all the time, so it’s nice to be able to bring the children down and teach them about keeping it clean so we can all use it.

‘It is a lovely place to live but we’ve got to keep it that way.

‘I hope they think twice before they litter, or I’ll get them out cleaning again.

‘On the whole it is quite a clean beach anyway. We have found a few bits but it’s all about teaching them.’

The youngsters were kept entertained with live music, sweet stalls and games.

And there were prizes for people who most inspired the organisers of the day.

Leonard Martin worked for a contractor cleaning the beach along Marine Parade East, in Lee-on-the-Solent, before he left in around 1997.

And when he saw the big summer clean-up being advertised, he couldn’t wait to bring along his expertise.

The 73-year-old, of Lincoln Close, Titchfield Common, said: ‘I used to do this when I worked for the council.

‘Part of our job was litter-picking the beaches, as well as the parks.

‘It was a great job – it was a steady easy-going job.

‘I thought I was doing a good job really.

‘Today brings back memories of me and a friend doing it.

He had brought along granddaughter Katrina, 16, of St Nicholas Avenue, Rowner, Gosport, for company.

The leader of the Lee-on-the-Solent Litteraction and Marine Conservation Society, Graham Smith, organised the event.

He said: ‘You always hope for more people.

‘It all came about from last summer.

‘We had this idea that when it was a really sunny day and we know what it’s like we’d go along here and pick it up while people were sunbathing.

‘We were in tears looking at it – it was awful the way it was just left at the beach at the end of the day.’

Saturday’s first annual summer clean-up was a resounding success, with staff from the local chain of McDonald’s also attending.