Ladies underwear, tents, a pair of Air Max trainers and belly board were amongst the items removed from St Anne’s beach by volunteers – with similar scenes in Blackpool
Volunteers have slammed ‘horrific’ littering across the Fylde coast over Bank Holiday weekend after picking up more than 40 bags of waste.
‘Don’t be a tosser’, the Lytham volunteers hoping to combat littering in their hometown, have shared details on the levels of rubbish left strewn across St Anne’s beach over the three-day break.
Amongst the piles of rubbish removed from the protected sand dunes on Monday (May 31) were a parasol, several tents, a pair of Air Max Nike trainers, ladies underwear and a supermarket trolly full of beer bottles.
Tracey Hope, who runs the group and volunteers with the RNLI, says the amount of litter left on the beach brought her close to tears.
She is urging beach-goers to pick up their rubbish and not abandon it on the sands.
“You don’t realise how much rubbish there is until you walk across the beach, it’s horrific and it’s every day,” the 41-year-old told LancsLive.
“I have lived in Lytham for 15 years now and I have always loved the coast; this is our home, we live here.
“We don’t want to be walking round a dump; we live in a beautiful place and we have got to look after it.
“It’s just pure laziness, people go through the effort to take this stuff to the beach, enjoy their day, then they leave it behind.”
Tracey’s volunteer group, the motto of which is “don’t be a tosser,” was formed in 2020 during the first UK-wide lockdown.
The group organise regular litter picks and have recently been combing St Anne’s beach every day of the week, hoping to get through the vast amount of rubbish left behind by revellers.
The amount taken off the beach following the bank holiday weekend, when Britain experienced its hottest weather of 2021, was worse than anyone could have expected.
Tracey said: “We had 23 volunteers last night who each filled two bags within the first hour.
“We could have got more but the bags got so heavy, and we were dragging them all over the beach, so we had to stop.
“We went out at half-six this morning to pick up the things that were left.”
Shoes, flip flops, swimming costumes, footballs, tents, towels, picnic blankets, plastic buckets, bottles, hats, a belly board, a parasol and even a supermarket trolly full of beer bottles were amongst the items left out on the sands.
“We found a lot of underwear,” said Tracey. “We are not talking wet swimming costumes or kids underwear we are talking a few pairs of thongs amongst the dunes.
“I don’t know what’s going on there.”
Tracey has lauded Fylde council for continually fronting up to the littering problems in Lytham, organising their own picks, collecting up bin bags and investing in beachfront receptacles.
She says it is down to beach-goers to alleviate the litter problem which will only increase once more staycationers arrive in the Lancashire town this summer.
“It’s only going to get worse,” said Tracey. “I don’t understand it, I don’t know if the sun gets to people’s heads or what.
“They can’t leave their rubbish on the beach, the tide here comes in twice a day and it will carry the rubbish out to sea and damage our marine life.
“People need to take their rubbish home with them, it’s as simple as that.
“If we didn’t pick this all up, people would be settling down on a beach that looks like the remains of a festival right now.”
You can join the volunteer group ‘Don’t be a tosser’ by turning up at the St Anne’s RNLI, centre at 8pm, on any given day.
Tracey says everyone, including dogs and children, are more than welcome to join.
Any toys or plastic buckets and spades found on the beach are donated to charities or recycled.
The St Anne’s haul came just after similar scenes were witnessed in Blackpool.
Residents and community volunteers were left outraged after pictures taken on Sunday (May 30) showed large amounts of litter left strewn across the award-winning beach.
The rubbish included plastic and glass bottles, food packaging and discarded buckets and spades used by families and children.
The actions of some irresponsible sunseekers near Blackpool Tower forced the resort’s local clean up squads to leap into action to remove the mess.
Blackpool residents have condemned the litter-bugs behaviour on social media and called it ‘disgraceful’ and ‘disgusting’.
One person said: “Disgusting if you come to Blackpool clean up after yourselves the council should employ people to issue on the stop fines.”
Another wrote: “The beach has been lovely and clean during lockdown. Disgusting visitor’s treat the beach like this . It’s not hard to take your rubbish with you, after all they managed to carry it to the beach in the first place.”