Old oil drums, tarpaulins and car tyres were found strewn across a wildlife haven.

A team of volunteers from Essex County Council and Pick Everard helped to clean up the coastline at Tollesbury Wick nature reserve.

The group had to be drafted in due to the number of large items which had been washed up on the marshland.

It also included large pieces of wood and lobster cages.

During the course of the day they also cleared up helium balloons, plastic straws and cotton wool buds.

The work at the Essex Wildlife Trust site adds to regular litter picks undertaken by the community.

The clear up comes after the issues of plastic pollution were highlighted in BBC’s Blue Planet II and Drowning in Plastic.

A recent Greenpeace report found only nine per cent of plastic produced globally between 1950 to 2015 was actually recycled.

At the same time plastic production and the use of single use plastic is increasing substantially year on year and projections indicate plastic use will quadruple by 2050 if trends continue.

Essex Wildlife Trust hopes to raise awareness about the problem and how it is polluting the marsh area.

Andrew Copsey, Essex Wildlife Trust’s warden at Tollesbury Wick said: “We would like you give a huge thank you to Neil and his energetic team for spending the day with us on our nature reserve.

“The team was a fantastic help and they’ve already signed up for a return visit to help with other essential works.

“We would also like to give a huge thank you to Matt from Maldon District Council who facilitated the disposal of this large volume of unwanted waste.

“We hope by raising awareness it will encourage more people to dispose of their rubbish responsibly and recycle when possible.”

Essex Wildlife Trust is planning on undertaking more of clear up events on a regular basis, for the benefits of wildlife and the local community.

Any business interested in becoming an Investor in Wildlife and join Essex Wildlife Trust on a future team day should contact Karen Dixon on KarenD@essexwt.org.uk.