THE relentless drive to keep beaches and parks litter-free this summer has seen the launch of the Leave Only Footprints campaign.

Bournemouth and Poole have welcomed hundreds of thousands of people during the heatwave with a small minority leaving rubbish strewn across the sand and gardens.

The new campaign not only reinforces the message that people should dispose of their rubbish carefully but also invites local businesses to support their local authorities by getting involved in litter-picking.

Leave Only Footprints was launched at Bournemouth beach yesterday when volunteers joined seafront teams for a beach cleaning event.

It is hoped that local businesses will contact the council with offers to get involved.

Councillors Pat Oakley from Bournemouth and John Challinor from Poole, both portfolio holders responsible for tourism, were in attendance.

Cllr Oakley said: "People have lost patience with the small number who litter our beaches. Volunteers are doing a fantastic job and this campaign is absolutely brilliant."

Cllr Challinor said the campaign applies to beachfront locations, parks and waterfronts and added: "We want to build awareness and make sure people know that clearning up their litter is a very positive thing to do."

More than 200 new bins have been added along the seafront in recent weeks, increasing capacity by 70 per cent and offering a recycling option at every location.

Beach staff are also keen to encourage the public to put waste into the right bins to make recycling easier.

Bournemouth and Poole spends around £500,000 each year keeping the beaches clean with six full-time and 15 seasonal staff members. There are three beach tractors, surf rakes and other tractor-mounted kit.

Around 2,000 tons of waste is collected from the seafront each, almost half of which is recyclable material. The rest is processed for energy with a small percentage sent to landfill.

Andrew Brown, Seafront Operations Manager for Bournemouth and Poole, said: "There’s still a lot of work to do but Leave Only Footprints is a kind of consistent, golden thread that runs through all of our endeavours.

"It’s testament to the sense of local pride that other local businesses and organisations are on board with the campaign.”

Anyone wanting to set up a Leave Only Footprints litter pick along Bournemouth and Poole seafront can find the application form at