ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners and helpers rolled their sleeves up after being left horrified at the amount of rubbish left at a beauty spot.
More than 100 people turned out in force on Saturday to fight back against the filth that has tarnished Eastney Beach over recent months. The RNLI Lifeboat station, the Royal Prince’s Trust and the University of Portsmouth’s marine science department also got their hands dirty by supporting the campaign.
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Fly-tippers have dumped items ranging from plastic items, broken glass bottles, car tyres and even a kitchen sink were found by the tireless workers who gave up their time for several hours over the Bank Holiday weekend.
The worrying scales of waste and debris - exacerbated by the long running encampment of travellers illegally parked at the site - has meant wildlife in the area has suffered significantly as a result.
The sight of dolphins and whales, for example, is a thing of the past as lazy people use it to dispose of waste.
Joint organiser of the beach clean Bianca Carr, of The Final Straw, said: ‘It’s been amazing to see so many people turn out to support us. Over 100 people - young and old - all rolled up their sleeves to clear away the rubbish that has been dumped.
‘It just shows how many people care about the environment and this beauty spot. Something had to be done as it was getting out of control. We’ve found so many different items dumped here from tyres to glass and literally the kitchen sink has even been left here.’
Fellow organiser Phil Carpenter said: ‘We’ve got one of the top six natures reserves in the UK here with Langstone Harbour. There are over 10,000 wild birds that are in danger and having to nest in waste.
‘There are small fish that are also in danger because the area has become such a mess while seals, whales and dolphins used to be frequent visitors down here but you never see them anymore. I was motivated to do this after my son was upset at the amount of mess there was when we came down here.’
The Final Straw aims to encourage people and businesses to ditch single-use plastic, as well as organise regular beach cleans to remove plastic from the environment. The campaign is backed by The News.
On September 15 six beaches will be cleared of rubbish in what is hoped will be the biggest beach clean ever seen in the Solent. ‘We hope to see lots of people turn out in support on the day,’ Lissy Pollard, also of The Final Straw, said.