MORE than 120 volunteers from across Pembrokeshire braved the rain to help clean up Newgale beach on Saturday.
Organised and equipped by Surfers Against Sewerage (SAS), locals from the age of two to 72 filled more than 150 bags with rubbish. Pembrokeshire County Council collected the pile the same day.
West Wales SAS representative Paul Renfro said an informal online poll had identified Newgale as the beach worst hit with rubbish following the recent storms.
“We decided to organise a clean-up and put the news out on Facebook and Twitter,” said Paul. “It just went viral.”
Jetske Germing, SAS member and TYF Sustainable Communities project manager, said there was a useful guide on the SAS website for anyone wanting to organise a beach clean of their own.
“It’s good to have an organisational backing to an event like this,” said Jetske.
“People saw the carnage caused by the storms, and wanted to help. This has provided everyone with a great opportunity to get involved.”
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park ranger Ian Meopham said he thought the clean-up was a 'wonderful thing'.
“People from as far away as Maenclochog and Tenby are here,” said Ian.
“We spend a lot of time looking after visitors, but this is Pembrokeshire people doing something for their county and for themselves.”
Not all of the rubbish was destined for the tip. Beachcombing artist Richard Blacklaw-Jones, who made letters from plastic and a giant heart from netting, said he would like more people to see the potential in flotsam and jetsam.
“It’s a waste to just put stuff in the bin,” said Richard.
“Look at it as free raw materials, and use your imagination to make something beautiful or useful.”