A SERIES of four huge sculptures raising awareness of litter left on Bournemouth Beach has been damaged beyond repair less than a fortnight after it was installed.

Vandals targeted the temporary installation, which depicted a takeaway box, plastic cutlery and a single use plastic bottle, late on Thursday evening.

The work was designed and created by architectural designer Jack Raisey. Other, similar sculptures are in place at beaches in Weymouth, West Bay and Lyme Regis.

The installation was due to come down at the end of August.

Gwen Hawkins of Litter Free Coast and Sea said the sculptures have been “very well received”, with visitors stopping to look at them and read messages encouraging people not to use single-use plastics.

“We are really disappointed to see the sculpture on Bournemouth Beach vandalised when the majority of visitors have enjoyed discovering it on the beach and many have taken selfies with it, helping to spread the message further,” she said.

“We are not daunted though, and will continue to work with BCP Council and local businesses in other ways to keep encouraging the reduction of single-use-plastic on Bournemouth’s beautiful beaches.”

The project is one of 18 initiatives currently being undertaken along the coastline by Dorset Coastal Connections. The organisation aims to boost the economies of the county’s coastal areas. It has been funded by a grant from the government and is coordinated by the Dorset Coast Forum.

Andrew Brown, BCP Council's seafront operations manager, said: “We are hugely disappointed for Litter Free Coast and Sea that the installations on Bournemouth seafront to encourage people to be responsible with their plastics and litter have been damaged.

"Our 'leave only footprints' campaign benefitted from this imaginative reminder to tidy up when you leave our beaches."