Dozens of Cruden Bay residents teamed up with a group of kite surfers last week to clean up a North East beach.
The Big Spring Beach Clean, hosted by enviromental charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), saw 120 community groups sign up to tidy beaches across the country.
Kite surfer Richard Noble uses the award-winning Cruden Bay beach on a daily basis and spearheaded the local initiative.
One aim of the SAS weekend was to encourage communities to take ownership of their local landscape and see first-hand how pollution is affecting our shorelines.
Community leader Jill McWilliam said: “The whole event was more than a beach clean, it was a great day out and a wonderful example of a village pulling together to get things done.
“The sands and sea are for everyone and every age and this event gave locals a chance to see just how important it is to have a regular clean.
“Last winter’s storms and their associated tidal surges left many beaches - including Cruden Bay - inundated with litter and debris.
“It was timely that this concentrated effort took place, ready for local people and visitors and tourists to enjoy its beauty over the summer months.”
Among the items cleared from the 2.5km stretch of sand were drums, nets, cans, plastic and glass bottles, clothing and two televisions.
Volunteers also found dangerous boards with nails and needles.
The volunteers were joined by Peterhead Air Cadets and was supported by local organisations including the nearby Cruden Bay Golf Club, the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel and SITA, which runs the Stoneyhill landfill site.
The beach, popular with water sports enthusiasts, is accessible by the historic Ladies Bridge however recent closures have seen a significant downturn in the number of visitors to the area.
Aberdeenshire Council is working to replace the structure and work could begin early next year.
Earlier this year SAS announced its aim to deliver more than 100 beach clears with the help of 3,000 volunteers across the UK.
It is hoped a minimum of 10 tonnes of debris was removed.
A statement on the organisations website said: “Marine litter isn’t just an unsightly and hazardous mess of brightly coloured objects that people have to contend with on a family trip to the beach.
“It is thought that marine litter causes a reduction in fish and marine mammal populations through higher mortality rates from wounds caused by litter, starvation due to blockages in the digestive systems and entanglement, and impaired reproductive capacity due to toxins such as parabens.
“Micro-plastics in particular concentrate organic pollutants such as PCBs, enabling them to enter the food web and bio-accumulate, reaching levels of toxicity thousands of times higher than the water around them.
“Miniature toxic time bombs poised to enter the food chain and work their way up to humans.”
SAS will soon announce an ambitious five-year action plan as well as laying out its 2020 marine litter reduction targets.
To find out more, visit www.sas.org.uk