AT first glance, the beach looked clean.
But taking a closer look Southsea’s beach was sprinkled with litter.
Volunteers armed themselves with gloves and bags as they collected rubbish on a windy Saturday on the shoreline near Clarence Pier.
The event was organised by Barefoot Wine, a Californian drinks company that is keen to spread the message of keeping the coastline clean, inspired by the beach-loving ethos of America’s ‘golden state’.
It didn’t take the volunteers long to fill up their bags.
Among the haul was a wire fence, fishing wire, plastic bottles, syringes, cotton buds, and ironically, a bottle of wine, although not of the Barefoot brand.
Ben Davies, 22, a medical student from Fareham and a keen surfer, was one of the volunteers. He said: ‘We are members of Surfers Against Sewage and we did one of these last year.
‘It’s the detrimental impact that the litter has on marine life and there’s the safety aspect to it.
‘It’s more pleasant to surf somewhere where it’s clean.’
Charlie Fookes, 22, from Portchester, who is training to be a teacher, said: ‘I am big on protecting our planet.
‘It’s important to make sure that there’s something left for people in future.
‘We have found a lot of plastics today and it’s dangerous for marine life.’
Dom Ferris, 34, from Surfers Against Sewage, travelled from Cornwall to pick up litter at Southsea.
He said: ‘We are finding a lot of sewage-related debris.
‘It’s the stuff people put down their toilets like cotton buds – think before you flush.’
He said he was really pleased that so many young people had volunteered to do the clean-up.
After a couple of hours of cleaning, the participants were rewarded with some wine-tasting, with eight different varieties to choose from.
Alistair Feest, 34, ambassador for Barefoot Wine, said: ‘Like with all the beaches we come to you turn up and they are clean, the council does a good job in keeping them clean.
‘You look down a little bit lower into the ground and you have in the UK 2,000 metres of marine litter for every kilometre of coastline.’