Discarded rubbish has been left on a beach sculpture designed to highlight the fight against litter and plastic - on the first day of its installation.

Campaigners want the Dorset coast to be as plastic and litter free as possible to reduce the rubbish entering our oceans and damaging wildlife - and so they have placed four sculptures at beaches in West Bay and Lyme Regis, as well as Weymouth and Bournemouth.

But on the first day of the installation, commissioned by Litter Free Coast and Sea, rubbish was found placed upon the sculpture at Lyme Regis.

Natalie Poulter, Litter Free Coast and Sea co-ordinator, said it was 'hugely disappointing.'

"The sculptures were made to challenge people's viewpoints, not to provide an opportunity to deface it," said Natalie. "We hope most people will view it for its intended purpose and respond to it rather than see it as an opportunity to make their own statement. This would be counterproductive.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

UNVEILED: The sculpture when it was first revealed to the public Picture: LITTER FREE COAST AND SEE

"We have not heard of this happening at any of the other locations and the others have gone down well, so we hope this is just one bad instance and not the view of the whole community."

Eight million pieces of plastic find their way into the oceans every day, and the sculptures represent typical single-use plastic, takeaway food and drink items in giant size and promote, through graphics designed by Rowena Taylor, the choices we can make to combat the impact plastic and waste is having on the planet.

Before commissioning Jack Raisey, an architectural designer, to design and build the sculptures - which will remain on display over the summer - Litter Free Coast and Sea and Dorset Food and Drink carried out ‘plastic surgeries’, where local food and drink businesses who are reducing their plastic and experimenting with alternative packaging, shared their experience and inspired others to do the same. The sculptures celebrate their efforts and promote making environmentally responsible choices.

The sculptures will be in place for most of August.

Artist Mr Raisey said: “The sculptures will not only create a striking silhouette against the beachscape but are designed to encourage people stop and think, even if only for a second. If everyone made small changes, it adds up to make a big difference.”

Gwen Hawkins, Litter Free Coast and Sea co-ordinator, added: “We want to engage with people using the beaches and help them be more aware of the damage littering causes, with the aim of reducing food and drink related litter such as bottles, trays, cutlery, BBQs etc. The sculptures Jack has created will get people’s attention and make people think about the impact they have while at the beach."

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

INSTALLATION: A sculpture can also be found at West Bay

This project is part of the Dorset Coastal Connections portfolio of 18 projects along the Dorset Coast which aims to support and boost the economies of Dorset’s coastal areas.

The portfolio is being funded by a grant from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund and partner organisations and is co-ordinated by Dorset Coast Forum.

The project has been a partnership, bringing together Litter Free Coast and Sea, Dorset Food and Drink, and the Arts Development Company as well as Dorset Council, Lyme Regis Town Council, Bridport and West Bay Town Council, Weymouth Town Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council.

For more information, visit dorsetcoasthaveyoursay.co.uk for more information.