Estuary blitz by volunteers

More than 100 volunteers spent two hours clearing up discarded junk which including a kitchen sink from the Exe Estuary.

In total, 130 volunteers got their hands dirty at the ‘Exe Estuary autumn clean-up’.

But even though the volume of litter was less than in previous years, enough junk was still found to fill a skip.

Rubbish included a windscreen seal, a suit jacket, shotgun cartridges, a chimney pot, a walking stick and even a kitchen sink.

Potentially dangerous and toxic items were also cleared, including asbestos, a boat part that was leaking oil and countless pieces of glass.


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Now the nature reserve is ready for wintering birds that use the Estuary as a resting site during their long migratory journeys.

The large number of volunteers also enabled organisers to conduct a survey of the litter.

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This will be used by the Marine Conservation Society to influence government, industry and the public in tackling marine litter at its source.

Exe Estuary officer Stephanie Clark said: “Volunteers demonstrated how much they care for this internationally important site by turning up in droves.

“The great work that volunteers carry out during these clean ups, year after year, is proving to have a very positive effect on the health of the estuary, with many local people and businesses noticing a reduction of rubbish on the Exe. “Thank you to Paul Craven and his assistant from Exmouth Marina Ltd for the help from his tractor and trailer in bringing the heavy items of rubbish back to shore.

“Also thanks to Leese’s Skip Hire, who offered discounted skip hire for the event.”

Volunteers were treated to a cruise from Stuart Line Cruises and a buffet courtesy of the Environment Agency.

For information on how you can become involved in a brand new litter campaign against marine and beach junk contact Stephanie Clark, at exeestua@devon.gov.uk.

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