Hartlepool volunteer army clears up Headland paddling pool after Beast From the East brought deluge of debris

Members of the public and councillors gather together at the Headland paddling pool to help clean it up. Picture by Frank Reid
Members of the public and councillors gather together at the Headland paddling pool to help clean it up. Picture by Frank Reid

Volunteers young and old rolled their sleeves up to clean up a children’s paddling pool on the Headland in Hartlepool.

Local councillors got involved in the tidy-up to remove piles of sand, seaweed and other rubbish that had blown in during the ‘beast from the east’ at the end of February.

Childminder Sharon Howe from Little Nippers By-The_Sea with (left to right) Willo Forbes, Emilia Littlewood and Phoebe Howe have a little rest during the clean up of the Headland paddling pool and area. Picture by Frank Reid

Childminder Sharon Howe from Little Nippers By-The_Sea with (left to right) Willo Forbes, Emilia Littlewood and Phoebe Howe have a little rest during the clean up of the Headland paddling pool and area. Picture by Frank Reid

Around 20 helpers pitched in and over the course of a couple of hours the area was looking much cleaner.

Headland and Harbour Councillor Shane Moore said: “It was basically debris from the recent storms we had.

“There was quite a few tonnes of sand and seaweed all around the area.

“The volunteers did an amazing job and it has all been completely cleared.

(Left to right) James Ingram, Sandra Hunter and Brian Hogg getting stuck in to the task of clearing sand away from the Headland paddling pool. Picture by Frank Reid

(Left to right) James Ingram, Sandra Hunter and Brian Hogg getting stuck in to the task of clearing sand away from the Headland paddling pool. Picture by Frank Reid

“The turnout was fantastic, they are a real credit to the community.”

Coun Moore organised the event yesterday morning in response to calls from local residents.

He added: “Some people were saying councillors only come out at election time and don’t do enough so it was a perfect opportunity to show that that isn’t the case and we are happy to roll our sleeves up, get out there and show a bit of social action to work with them and get the community involved.

“We collected all the rubbish and disposed of it and the sand we wheelbarrowed back on to the beach.”

Councillor Shane Moore at the Headland paddling pool as the clean up of the area is underway. Picture by Frank Reid

Councillor Shane Moore at the Headland paddling pool as the clean up of the area is underway. Picture by Frank Reid

Fellow Headland and Harbour ward Councillor Tim Fleming also joined in along with childminder Sharon Howe from Little Nippers By The Sea with youngsters Willo Forbes, Emilia Littlewood and Phoebe Howe.

Hartlepool, and especially the coast, took a battering during storms dubbed ‘Beast from the East’.

As well as the snow, strong winds blew large amounts of sand from the beaches at the Headland and Seaton Carew.

Volunteers stepped in after the council had been unable to clear the paddling pool area.

Coun Moore added: “A local resident went down on Monday and saw the state of it.

“We have reported it a couple of weeks ago to have it cleared but obviously council resources being as they are they hadn’t had chance to get down and clear it.”

The paddling pool is currently not filled with water until later in the summer.

Before then it needs to undergo annual maintenance including repairing the floor of the pool which gets damaged by the elements.

But it remains part of the seafront that is popular with visitors. Coun Moore added: “It is still important the area is respectable.”