Discarded face masks littering Marlborough High Street have inspired a local businessman to turn muck into brass.

The masks are strewn up and down the High Street, and many have made their way to the nearby River Kennett.

Pete Davies who has run Marlborough Photo Services for 30 years has been snapping pictures of them for months.

He has created a calendar with them for 2021, which he is selling - with proceeds going to local environment charity Action for River Kennet.

Each month has a photo of a discarded face mask lying in the street or in grassland or river bank in or near Marlborough.

“I am not professing to be Marlborough’s answer to Greta Thunberg,” said Pete.

“ But I am sad to see the number of disposable masks littering my town. So, in a hopefully tongue in cheek moment I have created a Covid Charity Calendar.

“If anyone buys one I will donate all the proceeds to ARK, who do such a wonderful job protecting the River Kennet.”

ARK say they are delighted with the idea, but also saddened by the damage caused.

“Our volunteers have litter picked through the pandemic and sadly have reported masks in and by the river,” said project officer Anna Forbes.

“Masks and face coverings are another form of pollution and it is frustrating that they are not being appropriately disposed of.

“I am unsure of numbers of masks as it’s our fantastic volunteers who have been litter picking, in retrospect I should have asked them to keep count.

“Interestingly it’s the disposable single use ones that are being found, not the washable ones. It is a shame more people don’t use the washable ones.

“It is brilliant that Pete is highlighting the problem in a humorous way and is supporting ARK too.”

Pete said he wanted to do something other than just be 'another person moaning in Marlborough'.

He said his son, a Ramsbury primary school pupil, regularly picks up bags full of litter.

"No one would dare pick up a face mask though would they?" he added.

"People treat them like medical waste, but my worry is that the more litter there is, the less people will care about the town. also the numbers of masks being made and thrown away is terrifying.

“I did some research and around 58.8m face masks are being used daily in the UK with around 10% being reused and 90% are discarded.,” said Pete.

“53.3m face masks are sent to landfill each day. We need to teach everyone that most single-use masks are made from plastics like polypropylene, polyethylene and vinyl – material that takes 450 years to degrade."

Buy a calendar here: www.marlboroughphoto.co.uk/store/charity_covid_calendar_2021/