SKATEBOARDS, traffic cones, a toilet and shopping trolleys were just some of the unusual items found by divers and snorkellers during an underwater litter pick at Netherton Reservoir.

Dudley Dolphin, a branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club, collected debris from the bottom and banks of the reservoir which they regularly use for training and club dives.

The club’s welfare officer, Mandy Downing, aged 48, came up with the idea to improve the environment for the wildlife that lives in and around the reservoir, as well as the water skiers, sailors, anglers and divers that use the water.

But despite the huge amount of rubbish the 20 divers and four snorkellers managed to recover from in and around the water, they have only scratched beneath the surface and the clean-up will now be an on-going club project.

She said: “The amount of rubbish we collected was just amazing. The two safes we found are really interesting. They have obviously been in the water a long time and one is broken up.

"The other is so heavy we need to go back and raise it with lifting bags. We will be informing West Midlands Police of those finds.

"We also found hundreds of tins, plastic bottles and a toilet. Who would throw a whole toilet into the water? I also found the volume of old clothes we recovered quite strange.

“It was certainly a worthwhile exercise and we intend to carry on and clean up much more of the reservoir as a club project now we have made a start.”

The club's diving officer, Derek Cave, an electrical engineer and health and safety officer, said underwater litter pick on April 26 had been a brilliant club event.

He said: “The amount of waste we have brought to the surface has been remarkable. We have found no fewer than four complete shopping trolleys, a push chair, golf clubs and two skateboards as well as hundreds of other items."

Mr Cave added: “There are a lot of eels, perch, pike and other fish living in the water and it will be far healthier for all the wildlife if we can clean up their natural habitat.

“We will be asking the council for help in the recycling and disposal of the waste we have recovered."