Voices is the Dorset Echo's weekly youth page - written for young people by young people.

Weymouth beach was once named the best beach in England. This was back in 2017, now it fails to even make the top ten.

Bournemouth beach has stolen the top spot and there are numerous reasons for this, including the fact that there is a vast array of beautiful beaches in the UK.

However, one of the main reasons Weymouth beach’s reputation has deteriorated so severely may have something to do with the lack of care people hold for it.

In the summer on a hot day of course you want to enjoy a trip to the seaside but when you are confronted with the sight of dog poo, condoms and even needles it makes you think twice.

One afternoon last summer me and a few friends visited the beach and much to our shock and disgust we discovered something poking out from underneath a few pebbles and after further examination we discovered a needle left for just anyone to find.

With all the horror stories you hear about needle sticks of course the last thing you want to do is touch it. We looked around for a suitable person to tell, but couldn’t find anyone. We eventually managed to get in touch with the right people. The post on Facebook on the local council’s complaints page alone racked up 146 shares and 85 outraged comments and this is just one story.

Fortunately, in this instance we all remained unharmed, but this is not always the case. On the June 21 last year, the Dorset Echo reported that a five-year-old boy pricked his finger on a syringe. The beach is supposed to be a happy place where you can make memories, not fear that you could contract HIV. He was simply playing in the sand.

Drastic measures need to be taken and sadly it’s not only the place in Weymouth where needles are being discovered.

Tourism is a major economic factor for Weymouth, but we are scaring some of the tourists off with our needle-infested beaches and action needs to be taken now before it’s too late.

By Hollie Carr