A RECORD turnout has helped to ensure Bognor Regis beach sparkles in the spring sunshine.
Between 30 and 40 volunteers of all ages took part in a litter pick along the foreshore. The community event was held by the Sussex Wildlife Trust and was combined with Bognor Regis In Bloom’s delayed annual spring clean.
Last Thursday’s session between the bandstand and the pier saw nine bags each filled with some 60 litres of rubbish in just over an hour.
Sarah Ward, the trust’s living seas officer, said: “I’ve organised three other beach cleans and this is the biggest turnout. All kinds of litter end up on the beach.
“At this time of year, when not many people have been around, it tends to be stuff that has been washed in on the tides.
“The vast majority of the items we are finding are unidentifiable small bits of plastic. Jagged edged bits of plastic and metal are a real risk for wildlife.
“If the plastic gets ingested by animals and makes its way up the food chain, it could up with us. So, it’s important to clean it up. Litter also looks horrible and it’s nice to get rid of it.”
The trust had organised the beach events after a surge of interest in picking up plastic from last Blue Planet II BBC documentaries, she said. The results would be fed into a national Marine Conservation Society survey.
One of the helpers who took part was Bognor Regis resident Bob Jackson, 73.
He said: “It’s important to do this for the benefit of everybody. The cleaner the beach, the more people will come here.
“If visitors see an unclean beach, they won’t come back.”