Litter pickers find cans, bottles and a traffic sign during Canoe Lake clean-up in Southsea

Jane Di Dino, left, and Una Herman. 
Picture: Duncan Shepherd
Jane Di Dino, left, and Una Herman. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
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VOLUNTEERS cleared 15 bags of rubbish from a lake.

More than 40 people went down to Canoe Lake on Sunday, after an event was set up on Facebook by Chantelle Burton – the woman behind the Don’t Hate, Donate campaign.

Together the group filled 15 100-litre bin bags with rubbish during the three hour session.

Chantelle Burton says she was impressed with the turnout at the event.

She said: ‘Because it was just a Facebook event, I wasn’t sure how many people would turn up – especially given that it was Remembrance Sunday.

‘The turnout was definitely higher than I expected, which is really pleasing.

‘We used litter pickers to clean the lake, with people also clearing rubbish from the surrounding area.’

The group discovered a variety of waste, which apparently dated back a few years.

Chantelle said: ‘There were tins and cans so old that they had their own little ecosystem inside – as well as bottles of drink at the bottom of the lake.

‘We even found a traffic sign in there, which was a nightmare to fish out.’

But the worst was yet to come for the group, as they discovered a number of nets as well.

‘These nets are a real danger to wildlife’ said Chantelle: ‘There have been far too many stories in the past of swans and seagulls getting caught in the netting, which can lead to them drowning.

‘I’d like to think we have done something really positive by cleaning the lake – hopefully this makes a big difference to the welfare of wildlife in the area.’

Plans are now in motion to make the event a regular calendar fixture.

Chantelle said: ‘We are going to be doing this on the second Sunday of every month from now on.

‘We have already had some support come in from local museums and other places that are interested in getting involved with the scheme.

‘This isn’t part of Don’t Hate, Donate – rather a separate entity for people to take part in.

‘If we are able to get some sponsors on board as well, maybe for some waste collection or bigger litter pickers, then we can have even more of an impact on our local environment.’