New Forest District Council is launching an innovative approach to tackling coastal rubbish.

From today (Thursday 30 July) visitors to the coastal areas of Calshot, Milford on Sea, and Barton on Sea will come face to face with a giant crab, and a reminder to take their litter home.

To make life easier, the council will be providing litter sacks meaning there is no excuse to leave rubbish behind.

This new initiative, which will run throughout the summer, will see litter bag dispensers in the car parks at each of the waterfront locations.

Visitors will be encouraged to take a bag so that they can safely and easily take their rubbish home.

Large billboards, featuring a giant orange crab, will be in prominent locations with a gentle reminder that beach behaviour is being monitored.

‘My eyes are out on stalks because I’m watching you and litter makes me crabby’, says the orange crustacean.

And whilst the image is of a friendly crab, beach goers may feel the pinch if they don’t heed the warning. Dropping litter carries an £80 fine.

With many more people holidaying in the UK this year, the coastline has been a popular choice for those seeking some time by the waters edge.

But with increased numbers of visitors the council has seen a sharp rise in litter.

From takeaway boxes and plastic bottles, to nappies and broken glass – New Forest District Council has doubled collections at the hotspots but mess left by day trippers continues to rise.

And it is not just an eye-sore, discarded rubbish can cause injury to coastal wildlife and risks polluting these natural beauty spots.

Cllr Alison Hoare, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said,

“There really is no excuse for leaving litter behind, but with this new approach we are making it easier for visitors to do the right thing. Everyone should collect a bag and take their litter home.

She cautioned, “Make no mistake, whilst we are encouraging visitors to take their litter home, we are monitoring coastal areas and will not hesitate to issue an £80 fine for those that flout the rules.

Visitors are encouraged to take their picture with the giant sea creature and post these on social media using hashtag #Crabby – with the best image winning £100.

More information at https://newforest.gov.uk/crabby