Hardy volunteers praised for clearing junk from Southsea beach

From the left are Asuka Kayeura, 28, of London, Amy Griffiths, 21, of Southampton, and Sara Coombes, 59, of Emsworth. They were part of the team of volunteers helping to clean Southsea beach on Saturday	 Picture: Tom Cotterill
From the left are Asuka Kayeura, 28, of London, Amy Griffiths, 21, of Southampton, and Sara Coombes, 59, of Emsworth. They were part of the team of volunteers helping to clean Southsea beach on Saturday Picture: Tom Cotterill

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PANTS, plastics, a wooden pole and used sanitary towels were among the piles of junk collected from a popular beach over the weekend.

A team of almost 50 volunteers spent hours cleaning a 300m stretch of Southsea beach on Saturday morning.

The clear-up was all part of a national day of action by environmental group the Marine Conservation Society.

As well as clearing the litter from the coastline, the band of volunteers also made a note of every piece of rubbish they bagged up.

The results will all feed into a national study by the MCS in a bid to shed light on the state of Britain’s beaches and marine habitats – which have been blighted by waste.

Vicki Simmons, 30, of Milton, took part in the day with Jane Di Dino, 39 and Aron Simmons, 33.

She was stunned by the scale of junk on the beach.

‘We got lots of little bits of plastic and bottle caps, but we were really surprised when we found a pair of pants,’ she said.

‘None of us really want to know how they got there.’

Bev Purvis, 60, of Southsea has been taking part in the annual clear-up for years and was joined by husband Andy, 64, daughter Laura Purvis-Miles, 37, and grandchildren Eadie, two, and Jim, four.

She said keeping the area’s beaches clean was vital.

She said: ‘We’re really lucky here. We have four miles of fabulous coastline.

‘On the whole people are tidy, but we do find a lot of small pieces of plastic that can spoil things.’

The litter pick was run by Southsea Beach Watch.

Lara Skingsley, of the team, praised the efforts of the volunteers and said the area – and particularly Eastney beach – had problems with rubbish getting washed up.

She added this was endangering marine life in the area.

She said: ‘Each year we tend to see the level of litter does increase.

‘There’s quite a problem with sanitary wipes. We find a lot of them, it’s really quite bad.’

The group runs beach cleans every first Saturday of the month, at 10am, from the Coffee Cup at Eastney.