HUNDREDS of volunteers are expected turn out for the Great Dorset Beach Clean, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

The event, run in conjunction with the Litter Free Coast and Sea (LFCS) campaign group, will take place at the end of this month.

Last year more than 500 people turned out and cleared 350 large bags of rubbish from the county's beaches.

Among the depressing haul were items such as plastic bottles, drinks cans, plastic/polystyrene food cartons, caps, lids, bottles, cotton bud sticks, plastic bags, fishing line and various marine litter that had washed up on the beaches.

This year, in part due to heightened awareness of the marine litter crisis – following Sir David Attenborough's nature documentary series Blue Planet II – its is hoped more people will volunteer than ever before.

LFCS project coordinator Gwen Hawkins said: "Whilst it’s fantastic to see record numbers of beach clean volunteers, there are still unacceptable amounts of litter, and plastic, on our beaches.

"There’s a lot more awareness of marine litter now thanks to programmes like Blue Planet, and all the stories across social media, but it is important to remember that anyone can get involved and do their bit.

"Beach cleans are great – they only last for a couple of hours.

"You’re doing something that really makes a difference and you may make new like-minded friends whilst being out along our beautiful Dorset coastline."

So far there are 15 beach cleans set to take place on the Dorset coast over the weekend of April 27 and 28.

These include events at Bournemouth Beach, Swanage Beach, Highcliffe Beach, Sandbanks Beach, Poole's Holes Bay, and Ham Common's Lake Pier Beach.

Caz Richards, LFCS project support officer, said: "We are expecting this to be our biggest Great Dorset Beach Clean yet.

"We’re asking people to use the hashtag #GreatDorsetBeachClean to help us like all the stories and photos from the beach cleans, find your nearest beach clean or maybe explore a new beach. And be sure to bring your friends and family to help us keep Dorset’s beaches Litter Free."

Visit litterfreecoastand for further details on how to get involved.