Big beach watch clean-up at beaches around Wales

Pensarn and Belgrano Residents Accosiation members and MCSvolunteers and AM Darren Millar clear litter at Pensarn beach
Image caption Volunteers found more than 300 pieces of litter on a 100m stretch of the beach

A beach litter survey and clean-up is taking place across Wales this weekend.

Volunteers are cleaning up at 40 beaches across Wales and surveying the amount of litter they discover.

Organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), it is aiming to halve litter on UK beaches by 2015.

Litter on Welsh beaches is higher than the national average with more than 3,000 items per kilometre. At Pensarn, Abergele, volunteers filled 25 bin bags from a 300 metre stretch.

MSC volunteers at the north Wales beach joined forces with others including a police community support officer and the AM Darren Millar to tidy up the beach.

A detailed survery was completed on a 100 metre section in which a total of 33 items of litter were picked up.

The most common item founds were pieces of plastic, drink cans and bottles, hygiene wipes and food wrappers.

However, strong onshore winds also washjed up many fishing items including a lobster pot and buoy.

On Sunday volunteers are cleaning Langland beach on Gower,

Gill Bell, MCS Welsh Officer, said, "Langland beach has given so much pleasure to thousands throughout the summer now it's our turn to give something back.

"An hour or so of your time is all we ask to help give Langland back it's sparkle."

Langland is the "official" Welsh beach of the Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch programme and is cleaned quarterly by Ms Bell and volunteers.

Abersoch in Gwynedd, Lindsway Bay in Pembrokeshire, Broughton in Swansea and Swanbridge Bay, Vale of Glamorgan are among those taken part.

A full list of beaches involved in the clear up weekend is available on the Marine Conservation Society website.

Gill Bell said it was vital that people joined in.

Image caption Langland Beach will be cleaned by volunteers

"The information our volunteers collect will help us tackle the main sources of litter and campaign to reduce the most common and harmful items ending up on our beaches and killing wildlife."

Marine litter kills wildlife, can be hazardous to people and costs millions to clear up.

Nore than 170 species of marine wildlife including seabirds, turtles and whales have been recorded mistaking marine litter for food, which may result in starvation, poisoning and fatal stomach blockages.

In addition, plastic packaging and discarded fishing nets can entangle and drown some of Britain's favourite marine animals, including seals and dolphins, the MCS said.

UK wide, there are two pieces of litter for every footstep you take on a beach and the amount on beaches has increased 146% since 1994, said the body.

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