The RSPCA is appealing to people to pick up their litter when out in the country to help save animals’ lives.

Last year in Wiltshire the animal welfare charity was called out to deal with 38 incidents of animals being injured, trapped or even killed by carelessly discarded litter.

The RSPCA is urging people to take part in Keep Britain Tidy’s Big Bag Challenge and help protect animals by picking up any litter they see lying around as well as ensuring they take their litter home with them.

RSPCA Scientific Officer Evie Button said: “Litter is one of the biggest hazards our wildlife faces today. Spring is an ideal time to go on a litter-pick because it's before the breeding season when young animals such as fox cubs start getting into trouble, and litter will be more visible in hedges before the vegetation really starts growing.”

She added: “Animals who get their heads or necks stuck in litter can suffer severe injuries as they struggle to break free and can even suffocate, while others will slowly grow weaker and weaker as they try to hunt or find food or water.

“If people see discarded litter we would encourage them to pick it up safely and put it in the bin, remembering to wash their hands after. Their action could save an animal’s life.”