RESIDENTS are being encouraged to get creative with litter collected on Dovercourt beach in a bid to clean up the coastline.

It’s all part of an effort led by Harwich Seaside Explorers to help ensure the beach is clean and tidy for generations to come.

Parents and their children can enter a competition to see who can create the best artwork before the March 17 deadline.

Libby Scarfe, who has lived in Dovercourt for most of her life and established the Facebook page, explained everyone can help to do their bit.

The 45-year-old said: “The idea is everyone does two minutes every so often which isn’t a long time but it can make a real difference, if everyone did their bit it would be great.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: From left to right, Libby and Audrey Scarfe joined by Penny, Evie and Hope BarringtonFrom left to right, Libby and Audrey Scarfe joined by Penny, Evie and Hope Barrington

“Some people are there everyday as it has been a nice focus while there’s not been much else to do.

“We are a good community but the beach isn’t spotless by any stretch of the imagination.

“It’s not terrible but it does need upkeeping.

“It is really important we acknowledge the damage being done to wildlife, we may forget this is occurring as it is out at sea and not in sight but it’s happening.

“There have been washed up birds and all sorts, it’s not nice to see.

Mrs Scarfe, who can often be seen scouting the shores with her ten-year-old daughter Audrey, also explained the importance of upkeeping the beach.

She added: “Initiatives like this keep people vigilant and make visitors more likely to see litter on the beach and pick it up, it helps expose the issue.

“If we can raise our children with the mindset to look after the community then in the long-term we will really benefit.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Audrey Scarfe, ten, poses with litter she has collected on the beachAudrey Scarfe, ten, poses with litter she has collected on the beach

“I have lived here nearly all my life and have noticed the differences to the wildlife, it’s clear to see and it’s not right.

“I don’t think we take enough care of our beautiful coastline, it needs nurturing.”

The competition set by Mrs Scarfe aims to encourage people to go outside, help keep the beaches clean and get creative while learning about the marine environment.

Children and their parents are encouraged to share pictures of themselves partaking in the beach clean and document what they have collected and created in diary form.

You can submit entries to the Seaside Explorers Facebook page.