A photo showing a young boy surrounded by rubbish left strewn across Blackpool Beach on the hottest day of the year has been described as ‘heartbreaking’.
The holiday hotspot was littered with discarded plastic waste, beers cans, fizzy pop bottles and crisp packets on Thursday.
Tens of thousands of sun-seekers descended on the resort as Britain was gripped by a heatwave.
Emily Parr, from campaign group Love My Beach which organises litter picks in the North West, said: "It is completely heartbreaking to see this picture.
"Sadly we have come to expect this kind of thing but to see it on that scale is surprising.
"Our volunteers work tirelessly to keep beaches in the area clean so it's devastating to see them be treated like this.
"You can tell the rubbish is fresh and was left on the beach yesterday.
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"If it had been washed up by the sea then the colour in the cans and wrappers would be faded, but it's not."
She added: "Our message to people visiting beaches this summer is that they must take all their litter home with them.
"If you can manage to bring these things to the beach with you then you can manage to take them away with you."
The Love My Beach campaign was launched in 2013 by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.
The group relies on volunteers joining organised litter picks at UK beaches.