Students from Marland Day School have unearthed the plastics lurking beneath the sand during a Woolacombe beach clean.

Marland School students carrying out a plastic beach clean at Woolacombe, working with the National Trust. Picture: contributedMarland School students carrying out a plastic beach clean at Woolacombe, working with the National Trust. Picture: contributed

Working with the National Trust, the group of nearly 40 students have been removing litter that could harm marine life as the popular beach braces for the school holidays.

The students, aged between 10 and 16 focused on the harmful micro-plastics, found in water treatment and often ending up interwoven with the sand, then easily consumed by fish.

“It was us giving back to the environment, to the people who deserve it,” said Brandon Lark, an Outdoor Education teacher at Marland School.

The project was part of the students’ John Muir Award, part of the country’s largest wild land conservation charity with more than 10,000 members.

Marland School students carrying out a plastic beach clean at Woolacombe, working with the National Trust. Picture: contributedMarland School students carrying out a plastic beach clean at Woolacombe, working with the National Trust. Picture: contributed

The collected rubbish has been recycled by the National Trust, and the school hopes to visit Exeter in December to track where the rubbish has settled.

Brandon added: “It was a great success and it really helped the boys know more about rubbish and the micro-plastics in our oceans.

“It was really interesting seeing what’s beneath the sand, and the interesting thing is that Woolacombe is a very clean beach compared to many – it just proves that Saunton could have a lot more.”