Dumped rolls of carpet, sheets of metal and rusting car wheels were among a huge haul of rubbish collected during a big clean-up of the Exe Estuary.
Some 110 volunteers took part in the effort on Saturday (September 14) – with hazardous items like broken crab pots and glass also removed from the beauty spot.
A mop head and an ornate clay smoking pipe were among unusual items found at the nature reserve.
The bi-annual event was organised by the Exe Estuary Management Partnership to create a safer environment for recreational users, families and the protected local wildlife.
Councillor Jeff Trial BEM, chairman of the partnership, said: “Over the many years that the partnership has coordinated clean-up events, there has been a significant decrease in rubbish found in the area.
“This is a very promising sign, indicating that the clean-ups are having a positive effect on the health of the estuary and that people’s attitudes towards rubbish are changing. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the event with such enthusiasm.”
Several local businesses stepped in to support the clean-up.
Volunteers were treated to fish and chips from award-winning Krispies and were provided with fresh fruit from McDonald’s before the event.
Long-term sponsor Stuart Line Cruises took all the volunteers on a trip around the estuary, with ACE Music filling the sea air with jazz tunes.
Equipment for the clean-up was very kindly donated by Clear-Reach Exterior Cleaning Specialist and East Devon District Council was able to remove and recycle the rubbish collected.
Councillor Richard Scott said: “The partnership continues to go from strength-to-strength and the clean-up and other events around the estuary demonstrate the high levels of engagement from residents, user groups and businesses.
“I would like to thank all involved in the day and in particular the businesses that supported the clean-up and entertained all the volunteers.”
Exe Estuary officer Stephanie Harper-Chung said: “The dedication of the volunteers and local businesses who offer their time to look after our protected estuary is outstanding.
“These people make a massive difference to the health of the Exe and I’m proud to be a part of this community.”
Krispies owners Tim and Kelly Barnes said: “We are passionate about keeping our local environment clean so wildlife can thrive, and everyone is able to enjoy this incredible piece of coastline.”