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Neptune's army is 'most admired'

11 December 09 07:20 GMT

A group of divers has picked up a national award for Most Admired Voluntary Group in Wales.

Neptune's Army of Rubbish Cleaners (NARC), based in Pembrokeshire, was recognised by the Welsh Council for Voluntary Action.

Formed in 2005, the 25-strong group carries out regular clean-ups to help protect the underwater environment along Pembrokeshire's coastline.

"We are thrilled to have our efforts recognised," said founder Dave Kennard.

NARC's volunteers take to the sea regularly between May and September.

The rubbish collected by the volunteers is sorted through and recycled where possible. On one dive at Stackpole Quay, the group collected 730 fishing weights.

Mr Kennard, who started the group in conjunction with Keep Wales Tidy, and secretary David Jones attended the Network Wales awards ceremony in Llandudno, Conwy, last week.

"Having done 15 clean-ups this year, we are thrilled to have our efforts recognised at a national level," said Mr Kennard.

"We rely solely on funding so it is fantastic that people are becoming more and more aware of the work we do.

"The rubbish we see is simply out of sight, out of mind but people need to realise the damage it can do."

Mr Jones added: "We collect everything from shopping trolleys, bikes to car batteries.

"Our job is not simply about clearing away litter. We also aim to raise awareness about how we as a community can do more to protect the underwater environment we are fortunate to have within our reach."

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