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From bottles to helium balloons - cleaning up the waters around a North Sea barrier island

PUBLISHED: 16:28 29 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:20 29 July 2019

Wayne Dodds goes out in his kayak to clean up litter from the sea around Scoult Head near Burnham Overy Staithe in north Norfolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Wayne Dodds goes out in his kayak to clean up litter from the sea around Scoult Head near Burnham Overy Staithe in north Norfolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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Tennis balls, men's shoes and helium balloons are just some of the detritus that finds its way into the waters around Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk.

The beautiful Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk, where Wayne Dodds clearsw litter from the waters. Picture: Wayne DoddsThe beautiful Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk, where Wayne Dodds clearsw litter from the waters. Picture: Wayne Dodds

It's a problem Wayne Dodds, of Burnham Market, knows well.

Mr Dodds regularly takes his kayak out around the north Norfolk beauty spot - sometimes just for exercise, but often to clean up around a part of the coastline he has come to know and love.

He said he had found "absolutely everything" in the waters around the island, which is a barrier between the North Sea and part of the coastline.

Mr Dodds said: "There is stuff that's come off fishing boats - clothing, every sort of food container, children's toys, and of course plastic bottles.

Wayne Dodds goes out in his kayak to clean up litter from the sea around Scoult Head near Burnham Overy Staithe in north Norfolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury

 
Wayne Dodds goes out in his kayak to clean up litter from the sea around Scoult Head near Burnham Overy Staithe in north Norfolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury

"A lot of it is what I call accidental sea litter. For instance, I find no end of tennis balls which have been thrown to the dog and floated of into the big blue. Once I saw a really nice men's running shoe.

"My main public enemy is helium balloons.

"I find no end of them and with there long plastic cord I think they are a big danger to wildlife so I always pick these up."

Mr Dodds, who runs a gallery and framing business at Creake Abbey, goes out before and after work from the car park at Burnham Overy Staithe, and whenever the tides are right.

Scolt Head Island from above. Picture: National TrustScolt Head Island from above. Picture: National Trust

He said: "I suppose I first started combining my litter picks with my kayak trips last year, and once I started it just became part of my trips out there.

"It doesn't bother me to do it, in fact I quiet enjoy it. It's great being out there mainly on my own with time to think and relax while I do a bit of good for the environment.

"I've got better at it, too. I soon learnt that bin bags were of no use as they would get ripped to easily so I now use a large coffee sack."

He said although he had always been concerned about the environment, popular nature documentaries such as Sir David Attenborough's Blue Planet II had "brought home" the dangers to the environment abut pollution.

The beautiful Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk, where Wayne Dodds clearsw litter from the waters. Picture: Wayne DoddsThe beautiful Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk, where Wayne Dodds clearsw litter from the waters. Picture: Wayne Dodds

Mr Dodds said: "I have a little daughter and I like to think that I am also doing it for her generation as they are the ones who will suffer more from the effects on the environment."

Scolt Head Island: A Norfolk gem

A barrier island, Scolt Head is home to colonies of tern species including Arctic, Sandwich, common and little terns. It also supports birds including pink-footed geese, curlews and wigeons, and birdwatching is one of the main reason people visit the island.

The island has a 4mi-long shingle and sand beach and its landscape is also made up of salt marshes and areas of sea grass.

Wayne Dodds goes out in his kayak to clean up litter from the sea around Scoult Head near Burnham Overy Staithe in north Norfolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury

 
Wayne Dodds goes out in his kayak to clean up litter from the sea around Scoult Head near Burnham Overy Staithe in north Norfolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury

A ferry takes visitors from Burnham Overy Staithe to the east of the island during spring and summer, and although it is possible to walk there when the tide is out, this is not recommended as it can be dangerous due to deep mud and rapid tidal changes.

Despite the litter that Mr Dodds collects, it is the limited access to the island that has meant Scolt Head has remained one of Norfolk's least-spoilt corners.

Scolt Head is part of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as the North Norfolk Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Wayne Dodds uses his kayak and a large coffee sack to clear litter from the waters around Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk. Picture: Wayne DoddsWayne Dodds uses his kayak and a large coffee sack to clear litter from the waters around Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk. Picture: Wayne Dodds

Wayne Dodds goes out in his kayak to clean up litter from the sea around Scoult Head near Burnham Overy Staithe in north Norfolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury

 
Wayne Dodds goes out in his kayak to clean up litter from the sea around Scoult Head near Burnham Overy Staithe in north Norfolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Wayne Dodds with the kayak he uses to clear litter from the waters around Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk. Picture: Wayne DoddsWayne Dodds with the kayak he uses to clear litter from the waters around Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk. Picture: Wayne Dodds

The kayak Wayne Dodds uses to clear litter from the waters around Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk. Picture: Wayne DoddsThe kayak Wayne Dodds uses to clear litter from the waters around Scolt Head Island in north Norfolk. Picture: Wayne Dodds

Wayne Dodds goes out in his kayak to clean up litter from the sea around Scoult Head near Burnham Overy Staithe in north Norfolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury

 
Wayne Dodds goes out in his kayak to clean up litter from the sea around Scoult Head near Burnham Overy Staithe in north Norfolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Wayne Dodds goes out in his kayak to clean up litter from the sea around Scoult Head near Burnham Overy Staithe in north Norfolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury

 
Wayne Dodds goes out in his kayak to clean up litter from the sea around Scoult Head near Burnham Overy Staithe in north Norfolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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