BATTLING through wet and weather and under grey skies, a team of hardy souls made a strong effort to clean up an Alverstoke beach.
The 30-strong group was at Stokes Bay yesterday as part of the Big Beach Clean-up, which aims to clear litter from 140 beaches and canals across the UK.
Marks & Spencer in Fareham organised the event with the Marine Conservation Society and invited residents to join in the litter-picking activities.
Vicky Nash, from Meadow Walk, Bridgemary, went along to the clean-up with her daughter Emma.
Vicky, 65, who works at Whiteley M&S, said her daughter had taken the day off work for the litter-pick.
She said: ‘Considering the appalling weather there were lots of people there.
‘The stuff we were picking up was not the big stuff, there were lots of wet wipes and hundreds of plastic sticks.
‘There were bottle caps and lots of little things that you wouldn’t normally see unless you were looking closely.
‘The items were small and fiddly but there was a lot of it.’
Samantha Fanshawe, chief executive at the Marine Conservation Society, said: ‘This week of action is a great opportunity to clean up some of our best-loved beaches and remove litter that has built up following recent storms.
‘Rubbish washed up or left on beaches not only harms wildlife but spoils our enjoyment of the coast too, so the more people who take part the more litter we can remove from harm’s way.’
Sacha Berendji, director of retail at Marks & Spencer, said: ‘Our beaches and canals, and in turn our marine life, need us and our army of volunteers more than ever before.
‘It’s a fun, outdoor activity and as an incentive, we give a £5 money-off voucher for every customer who gets involved.’
The next big beach clean takes place at Eastney beach, halfway between the Royal Marine Museum and Eastney swimming pool on Wednesday. It starts at 10am and is being run by Portsmouth Marks & Spencer.
For information go to marksandspencer.com/plana.