by Alexandra Spiceley

VOLUNTEERS got busy with litter picks and rubbish bags for a 'Big Beach Clean Up' in St Brides, Wentlooge.

People gave up their time to help clear litter from the area as part of the UK-wide event which was held in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society.

Among those helping were employees from Marks & Spencer in Newport.

The national clean up event took place on 95 UK beaches and 45 canals across the UK including locations hit by recent storms.

Thousands of volunteers including Marks & Spencer staff and customers and Marine Conservation Society volunteers took part in the event across the country.

The aim was to clear more than last year’s impressive total of 30 tonnes of litter, the same weight as two double decker buses.

Sacha Berendji, director of Retail at Marks & Spencer, said: “Our Big Beach Clean Up 2013 exceeded all expectations and made a significant impact on local communities.

"This year our beaches and canals, and in turn our marine life, need us and our army of volunteers more than ever before.

"It’s a fun, outdoor activity and I’m confident we can go one step further and surpass last year’s litter haul. And, as an incentive, there’s a £5 money-off voucher for every customer that gets involved.”