Litterpickers lead the charge to clear Hampshire beach of dangerous junk

Volunteers from the Fareham Society and others helped clean the beach at Meon Shore. Photo: Keith Woodland
Volunteers from the Fareham Society and others helped clean the beach at Meon Shore. Photo: Keith Woodland

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DOZENS of volunteers took to the beach to wage war on litterbugs blighting a natural beauty spot.

More than 30 people armed themselves with rubber gloves and rubbish bags to take part in this year’s annual beach clean at Meon Shore, close to the Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve.

Organised once again by the Fareham Society, the brigade of volunteers scoured a mile-long stretch of the beach for junk left dumped or washed up along the shore.

Supported by environmental activists from Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and geocache enthusiasts, the volunteers spent about two hours cleaning the area.

Jez Edwards, of Gosport, took her two sons Rowan, seven, and Ash, four, along to the community drive.

The 39-year-old said: ‘Nobody wants go to a beach that’s covered in litter and rubbish. We came here six months ago to clear – the children were clearing this exact spot in fact.

‘So it is disappointing to have to come back and clean.’

Much of the rubbish picked up by the volunteers included small pieces of plastic and tiny cotton bud sticks.

But there were also larger chunks of plastic, glass and wood recovered.

Brenda Clapperton is the secretary of the Fareham Society and helped organise the clean-up, which has been running for about 25 years.

She said: ‘Litter is a huge problem and it can be particularly dangerous for the wildlife.

‘A lot of what we find can be quite tedious to pick up – bottle caps, cotton bud sticks – but it can be damaging for the area’s natural wildlife.’

SAS volunteer Meg Lampard, of Hill Head, came with her family.

She added: ‘We love coming to the beach together and it’s upsetting to see litter being left here.’

Brenda said the scale of junk left on the beach over the years had decreased proving the ‘message was getting out.’

The society is holding another litter-pick this Sunday, at The Gillies, from 9.30am.