The April Surfers Against Sewage Big Spring Beach Clean has been a great success - and schoolchildren in Ilfracombe were keen to do their part

Children from Ilfracombe Junior School have been doing their bit to help the environment with a series of local beach cleans.

Yesterday (Wednesday) pupils from class 5WS took part in the Surfers Against Sewage Big Spring Beach Clean at the town's Wildersmouth Beach.

They joined the One Ilfracombe team, Ilfracombe Aquarium, the AONB and local volunteers for a successful afternoon collecting several bags of litter, mostly plastic.

Year 5 teacher Caroline Nutting said the children were very enthusiastic about doing their bit for their community.

She added: "Many tourists visiting the beach praised the children for their efforts in helping to make Ilfracombe even more beautiful."

Other classes will also be visiting the harbour beach on litter patrol, as well as Wildersmouth.

Nationwide, the April Surfers Against Sewage and Ecover Big Spring Beach Clean made history, with 17,000 people taking part at more than 470 beaches and river banks across the UK.

They removed 55 tonnes of ocean plastic pollution and recycled 17,000 plastic bottles, as part of Ecover's Ocean Plastic Bottle Project.

The South West was very well represented with a total of 6,379 people taking part in 169 beach cleans, removing 18,423kg of marine plastic pollution and recycling 3,307 single-use plastic bottles from the regions coastlines.

Dom Ferris at SAS said: "One of the most powerful tools in our fight to create plastic free coastlines is optimism and while the Big Spring Beach Clean 'stats' highlight the horrific scale of the ocean plastic pollution crisis, they also tell a wonderful tale of community activism and fun which brings great hope at a vital time."