SOUTHSEA beach is a cleaner place to visit thanks to a hard-working group of volunteers.
Between 80–100 volunteers of all ages rolled-up their sleeves and put in a morning’s graft yesterday as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s Big Beach Clean.
The group donned high-visibility vests and gloves as the litter pick took place at the Eastney end of the coast.
The event was organised in conjunction with Marks & Spencer and featured volunteers from its Fareham store.
Beach clean administrator for the MCS Rachel Dunham said around 20–30kg of rubbish had been collected along the seafront and bagged in black sacks.
She said: ‘It was a brilliant day. We event had people doing solo stretches along the beach and the weather was very helpful to our effort.
‘We found items like a fridge door and a Fosters lager sign to a dog lead.
‘Volunteering for beach clean has a real feel good factor when you see the bin bags full.’
She stressed the importance of holding the events to protect beach wildlife and said the MCS is always looking for volunteers to take part.
She added: ‘No one wants to go to a beach that looks dirty but it’s about the impact it has on the environment as well. People want to have a clean beach to walk their dogs on or take their families too but the impact on wildlife is something that a lot of people are not aware of.
‘We get a lot of turtles on our shores that like to eat jelly fish. But washed up plastic bags can look the same and can stick in their internal organs.
‘A lot of birds also get tangled up in beer can holders too.’
Volunteer Michael Farrow, of Avenue Road in Fareham, took part in the pick-up through Marks and Spencer.
He said: ‘It went well and wasn’t as dirty as we thought it would be.’
Meanwhile, Hayling Island Beach has been awarded a blue flag award by Keep Britain Tidy.
It is one of 36 beaches across the south east to receive an award.
Phil Barton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: ‘The continuing high standards of our beaches are testament to the hard work carried out by beach managers throughout the year in order to provide clean and safe beaches for everyone to enjoy, whether you live on the coast or are a visitor.’
If you would like to find out how to volunteer for the MCS’s beach cleans, which take place all year round, visit mcsuk.org/beachwalk.