A GROUP of student volunteers turned their hand to conservation by helping to clean up a Lancing nature reserve.
The students from Chichester House at Brighton College volunteered their services as litter pickers at Widewater Lagoon as part of their Make a Difference Day community scheme.
West Sussex County Council ecologist Ben Rainbow gave the students a talk about the lagoon habitat and all the plants and animals that can be found there.
Mary Hamblin, vice chair of World of Widewater, said: “It is important to keep the area clean and problem free for the wildlife as well as keeping it tidy for visitors to enjoy.
After a morning of hard work the students enjoyed a picnic and a closer look at the resident swan family and ducks.
“The weather was good and the day was a great success,” said Mary.
“Volunteers are vital in maintaining the lagoon.
“It makes a tremendous difference.
“The importance of cleaning up and litter picking is that, unfortunately, animals can get caught in litter and can have a very slow and nasty death.
“It’s not only for aesthetic reasons, it’s also detrimental to the wildlife.
“Volunteering is very beneficial both as a team exercise and to for youngsters to learn about giving up their time for others.
“It gives you a sense of wellbeing and encourages a sense of community.”