A team of local volunteers have discovered a group of extremely rare Strandline beetles during a recent beach clean at Pembrey Sands, Carmarthenshire.

Taking part in the beach clean at Pembrey Sands were L to R, Heather Young – Team Administrator at Air Weapons Range Pembrey Sands and Liz Pearce – DIO Training Safety Officer.

Employees from Landmarc Support Services (Landmarc), the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), Carmarthenshire County Council, Mencap and Wales Wildlife Watch got together to help clean up a stretch of beach next to the Pembrey Sands Air Weapons Range, which is managed by Landmarc.

Heather Young, Landmarc team administrator who took part in the litter pick said:

“At Landmarc, we manage the Ministry of Defence National Training Estate for the DIO and are very fortunate to work in some of the UK’s most beautiful natural habitats, including our own stunning Pembrey Sands right here on our doorstep.

“Every day, we see firsthand the problems that littering causes across the Estate, with items being needlessly discarded. To help ensure the area remains safe for visitors and wildlife alike and to protect and sustain the local environment, we regularly carry out beach cleans up and down the country.

“This means that we are quite used to finding a variety of unusual items that have been discarded; everything from car tyres to children’s car seats, alongside the tonnes of plastic that we pick up each year!

“But we didn’t expect to find a group of endangered Strandline beetles, which are now extinct in England, but known to be found in South West Wales. Luckily, some members of the team knew how rare these insects are, so we were very careful not to handle them and to make sure that we replaced the man-made litter that was forming their habitat with driftwood and other natural debris.”

Two truckloads of litter were collected during the beach clean and taken to the local recycling centre.