BOURNEMOUTH'S beaches were left strewn with litter after hundreds of thousands of people descended on the resort on the hottest weekend of the year.

Dirty nappies, bottles and cans were just some of the items left all over the beaches and throughout the town centre.

One council worker told the Daily Echo: “I think we're fighting a losing battle” with another describing the state of the town as “disgusting”.

The employee, who did not want to be named, said: “We are doing all we can but there was a huge amount of litter from this weekend.

“People should be fined then they would be reluctant to drop litter and would take it home with them.”

Mike Francis, president of the Bournemouth Tourism Management Board, said: “A hot weekend attracts thousands of people to Bournemouth. There are a minority who just don't care about other people.

“The council is doing all it can to make sure the beaches are clean. There are signs up asking people to take their litter home but it is difficult to police because you don't know how bad it is going to be until everyone has gone home.”

Street services manager Stuart Best said two small mechanical road sweepers broke down on Sunday, causing delays to the clean-up operation. More machines were brought in from other parts of the borough to get the town back to normal as quickly as possible.

“Bournemouth was lucky to have some of the hottest weather in the UK. This meant that we attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors over the weekend,” he said.

“We would strongly encourage visitors and residents to dispose of their litter responsibly.”

Chris Colledge, chairman of the West Cliff Green Residents Association, said a group of people camping on the green tipped their rubbish over the cliff despite being close to litter bins.

He added: “Others just dumped a beer keg in the bushes. It is wonderful to see people enjoying themselves but they should take their rubbish home.”