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Clear winner! I carried out 52 beach cleans in a year

Tide-y up: Pat Smith keeping her resolution to clean a beach in Devon and Cornwall every week for a year PICTURE: SWNS

A LITTER-LOATHING grandmother has achieved her goal of completing 52 beach cleans in one year after vowing to tidy up a sandy bay every week.

Pat Smith, 70, set to work along the coast of Devon and Cornwall throughout last year armed with bin bags and rubber gloves.

From the Lizard peninsula to Dartmouth, the mother-of-two swept up wet wipes, filler foam, rope holders, bottles, fishing gear, bags of dog waste, plastic straws and tons of other detritus.

‘Doing 52 beach cleans in 2018 was my new year’s resolution and it’s done — but I won’t stop now,’ said Ms Smith, founder of Cornish campaign group The Final Straw.

‘I’m driven to try to protect our planet for my grandchildren and I will continue to do everything to achieve that.’

One that was a particular challenge was Fistral beach, Newquay, after Storm Eleanor. She said: ‘It was truly dreadful. In two hours I collected two black bags full of tiny fragments of plastic detritus which the ocean had spat back at us.’

Ms Smith, from St Austell, was often joined by other volunteers, including Wayne Dixon who is walking the UK coast for Keep Britain Tidy. She said: ‘Some lovely people stopped. If only one per cent picked up a handful each, the beach would be clean in no time.’

Stricken seal is trapped in a plastic bag

Bag for strife: The seal engulfed in a discarded plastic bag in the harbour at Brixham, Devon PICTURE: APEX

A SEAL struggling to free itself from a plastic bag was caught on camera. Martyn Cannan took a photo of the seal, one of a colony of 20 at Brixham, Devon, as it battled for 15 minutes before managing to free itself. He said: ‘If my picture raises people’s awareness and stops one person from throwing a plastic bag into the sea then it’s done its job.’