FAMILIES looking to enjoy the sunshine this season can benefit from a series of free beach libraries.

Run by different community groups around the district, the sites contain fun items such as buckets and spades for groups to use for the day.

As well as ensuring the toys are not just used once, making them more environmentally friendly, they can also be useful for families on low incomes.

Alex Porter, Tendring councillor responsible for leisure and tourism, thanked the groups who were running the beach libraries.

He said: “We are really keen to support these initiatives – which are best run by volunteers – as a way of making our beautiful beaches more accessible to all.

“By making sure buckets, spades and other beach toys are re-used, and don’t spend the rest of the year languishing in the boot of a car, we can all do our bit to reduce the amount of plastic items being created.

“They can also be a godsend for families taking an affordable day out to our coastline who can instead spend their disposable income on ice creams for their little ones rather than a use-once toy.”

Visitors who do buy new toys but are not likely to use them again for a while are encouraged to donate them at the end of their stay to the libraries, provided they are in good condition.

Beach libraries can currently be found in various locations along the seafront at Clacton, Walton and Dovercourt.

Anyone interested in setting up a new library can email seafronts@tendringdc.gov.uk to explore options.