VOLUNTEERS dug deep to clear over 300 tree guards from woodland in Dalgety Bay.

The event at the Braefoot Plantation was organised by the Plastic Free Dalgety Bay group.

One of its members, Kim Blasco, said their efforts at the weekend specifically targeted the issue of tree guards.

"We did one this time last year, when we collected about 500 tree guards," he said. "We had 13 volunteers and collected 300-400 tree guards, plus a bin bag of plastic bottles for recycling and another bag of landfill waste.

"The plastic ties that attach the tree guards to the wooden stakes were also collected and recycled – each tree guard has two of these ties, adding to the unnecessary plastic pollution. There are far more of these than there appear to be in the wood, as many are hidden under the undergrowth or covered in moss.

"We plan to keep returning for as long as it takes to remove all the ones that have come off the trees. But we can only really do it at this time of year, before the vegetation grows up and hides them even more, as well as making access much harder and hazardous.

"Fife Coast & Countryside Trust, who have been incredibly supportive of all our clean-ups, asked us to separate out the best tree guards and said they would try and reuse them if possible. The rest will probably end up in landfill, but at least they won't be escaping into the wider environment."