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Beach litter patrols will fine offenders along New Forest's coastline



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LITTER patrols will be out and about this summer fining offenders, New Forest District Council has warned as it relaunched a beach waste campaign.

Stressing that littering is a criminal offence which can result in an £80 fine, NFDC also announced it has installed free rubbish bag dispensers at six beaches.

Barton, Milford, Calshot, Hordle Cliff and Naish have been identified as littering hotspots by the authority.

The campaign was prompted by bins being left like this one in Barton in 2020 (47759252)
The campaign was prompted by bins being left like this one in Barton in 2020 (47759252)

It is looking to build on last year's successful initiative which, it said, reduced littering by 10 tonnes during August and saved around £10,000 in clean-up costs.

It has once again wheeled out its sharp-eyed cartoon mascot Crabby, who will watch out from billboards and displays close to the dispensers.

Cllr David Russell, NFDC’s cabinet member for people and places, said: "Littering is a concern for us all. Not only does it look a mess and make it difficult to enjoy our beaches and outdoor spaces, but uncontained rubbish is costly to clean up and can be a danger to people, wildlife and coastal creatures.

"Last year, Crabby’s prominent messages to visitors, combined with providing bags to take rubbish away, was so effective at reducing littering that we have expanded the approach to more of the district’s popular beaches, to help keep our area clean and safe.

"Our message is clear: when you visit our beaches please use a bin and, if the bins are full, take a free bag and take your rubbish home."

Rubbish left next to bions can cause environmental problems and make animals suffer (47759283)
Rubbish left next to bions can cause environmental problems and make animals suffer (47759283)

The council’s approach aims to tackle all beach littering, including so-called "polite" littering when rubbish is left near full bins.

NFDC said that not only is that classed as flytipping, but the waste can be blown onto the beach or the sea, harming coastal creatures when they eat or become entangled in the rubbish.

Alongside the displays and provision of litter bags, NFDC said it will increase patrols, empty bins more frequently in busy areas and provide bigger bins where possible.

The measures are to help manage expected increased volumes of litter from additional visitors staying in the UK this summer as Covid restrictions limit foreign travel.



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