Video: Teenager Abbie Barnes leads Lilstock beach clean-up near Minehead
A Somerset teenager battled snow and strong winds in her mission clean up Lilstock beach near Minehead.
Abbie Barnes, from Crewkerne, had originally organised a small scale clean-up, to raise awareness about ocean littering, but when locals got involved that all changed.
She said: "I originally arranged a small family beach clean-up as a film shoot for my entry to the EcoTales film competition 2013, but the event quickly turned into a community effort in an attempt to help clean up Somerset's coastline.
"The night before the clean-up I was concerned due to the snow and weather warnings forecast, but the following morning after a successful journey to the coast, I was rewarded by having a fantastic crew of 25 well wrapped up supporters ready for action."
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Abbie and her crew of volunteers worked at cleaning the beach, however there was 'so much' rubbish, the task of cleaning the beach was near impossible.
"The initial plan was to work until 1pm, but we had to call everyone in early as it would have been impossible to transport all of the rubbish collected – there was so much," she explained.
"A Greggs basket, traffic cone, piping, nets, a fold-away seat, a sledge, boxes, and more – we were astonished by the huge amount that we found, after only scouring a 500m area.
"It was heartbreaking to know that although we were removing a great deal of rubbish, the next tide to come in would inevitably bring in similar quantities, and that this was only one single location in the whole world, but we collected all we could."
She added: "Despite the freezing weather conditions and bitter wind, we kept a cheery smile and left knowing we were helping to make a positive impact on our planet."
Abbie's dream is to become a wildlife conservationist and natural history film maker. She studies at Richard Huish College in Taunton where she is working towards this goal.
She documented the clean-up in a three-minute film for Eco Tales who aim to raise awareness about environmental issues through multimedia publishing.
"I feel so strongly that we have a duty to protect the planet that we have been given which is why I organised this beach clean-up," she said.
"I would like to thank everyone who aided me in speaking out for our oceans, and I strongly encourage that others follow the example set by this hardy bunch."
LILSTOCK BEACH CLEAN-UP - PICTURE SPECIAL