STUDENTS at Shoreham Academy have been clearing litter to help the community.
The form group learned more about the Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve before working on a section of the beach.
The litter picking day was led by teacher Candice Firth with the help of education co-ordinator Stephen Savage and the Friends of Shoreham Beach.
Miss Firth said: “My form group wanted to give something back to the community. They have done a great job organising this themselves and it is so lovely to celebrate their integrity as young teenagers within their local community.
“They have been so amazing. From the moment they left the school grounds, they were picking up litter. We walked from the school and collected loads of rubbish en route through the town centre.”
As it is a tiered form group, the day involved students aged from 11 to 14.
Mia Binks, 13, said: “Shoreham is such a nice place, you expect to see a nice beach but it is ruined by lots of litter. We just wanted to make it the nice place it is.
“During our survey, we found a lot of small plastic. People don’t realise the effect it has on the wildlife.”
Louis Heal, 13, from Southwick, said: “We decided as a form to help out the beach and pick up litter, as we wanted to give back to the community and help others. People don’t realise how much litter affects everything.”
Megan Huth, 12, from Steyning, said: “We wanted to clean up because of the wildlife and how much the waste damages the local area and the wildlife are affected by our litter.”
Mr Savage said the day was all about raising awareness.
“A lot of rubbish comes in from the sea but if everyone took their own rubbish home, it would halve the problem on the beach,” he explained.
The focus was on microplastic, with the aim of covering one area in detail, rather than sweeping along collecting just the big pieces.
Mr Savage said: “The large bits of rubbish are not nice for us but actually it is all the small bits that are harmful to the wildlife.”
As part of the day, the students made a special survey of one section of beach, close to Shoreham Fort. This will be used to compare it to other parts of the world, as part of a global marine investigation.
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