A BUMPER Bank Holiday weekend on Barry Island was marred after the beach was left in an appalling state, with what has been called an "unprecedented" amount of litter being left behind.

Thousands travelled to Barry during the hot weather, with cars queuing until late into the afternoon to enjoy Whitmore Bay.

However, many have been left disgusted after photographs emerged of the massive amount of rubbish left strewn across the sand.

As a response the Vale council has said it will be getting tough on litter bugs, with director of environment and housing services, Miles Punter saying "enough is enough".

He said: “Huge numbers of visitors flocked to Barry Island to enjoy the warm weather over the bank holiday weekend and unfortunately some have shown a complete disregard for one of the Vale’s most iconic locations.

“Unprecedented quantities of rubbish were left by day trippers and the council has had to bring in extra resources to deal with this problem.

“The clean-up operation began on Monday evening and resumed at 6.30am on Tuesday, with staff being drafted in from other areas to help tackle the issue.

“There is never any excuse for leaving litter on the beach and, quite frankly, enough is enough.

“The council has carried out major improvement works at Barry Island in recent years to once again establish the area as a premier seaside resort and this kind of irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated.

“We will be increasing our enforcement patrols over the summer period, with anyone found to be littering liable to be issued with a £75 fixed penalty notice, while they could also face possible prosecution.

“It may also be necessary to use our CCTV cameras to help identify offenders.”

Friends of Barry Beaches spokeswoman Claire Curtis said: "Most visitors to Barry Island had made the effort to tie their rubbish in bags and take them to the bins, but it was clear that some people had no intention of clearing up after themselves.

“There has been a lot of media and social pressure recently on the issues with waste and particularly plastics and the impact on marine wildlife. It is clear we still have a long way to go to educate people and change habits.

"It is clear from the response our Facebook page received that a lot of people are angry about the way our beautiful beach was treated, and it is pressure like this that will ultimately change people’s behaviour.”

Barry resident and #2MinuteBeachClean campaigner, Aoife Blight said it was sad that the beach was left in a state because of visitors with a "somebody else will deal with it" mentality.

Mrs Blight said: “It's a pity that those visitors didn't take their rubbish home with them when they saw the full bins.

“It was lovely however to see people taking action, like the two girls who went out and did a litter pick.

“We need more people like them visiting and caring for our beach."

The Ysgol St Baruc schoolgirls, seven-year-old Nia Davies and friend Amelie Alexander, 8, were singled out by some social media users for taking matters into their own hands and collecting litter from the beach.

Mum-of-two Jodie Davies, 38, of Barry Island, said: “There were circles of rubbish where groups had been and walked away.

“We collected crisp packets, drinks bottles and so many wet wipes and even abandoned towels and inflatables.

“The council had put the large waste bins on the entrance to the beach, but they were overflowing,

“In just 40 minutes we filled three black bags and four carrier bags.

Amelie’s mum Beth Alexander said: "How a family with children can justify leaving their rubbish behind I just don’t know.

“People come in their hundreds and more to enjoy the beach, it takes no time at all to pick your rubbish up after you."

She added that the girls were considering making their litter pick a monthly event.

“Amelie and Nia are keen to make their litter pick at least a monthly event," she said.

“They’ve had a great response on Twitter and Facebook from various local groups and environment groups."