Stop littering to prevent wildlife from harm, Essex councils have urged.

Seven councils are supporting a new anti-litter campaign, run by the Cleaner Essex Group, under the tagline: "Love it here? Don't leave it here..."

Essex County Council is supporting the campaign along with district councils in Braintree, Chelmsford, Brentwood, Castle Point, Maldon and Rochford.

Dunmow Broadcast: The councils warn that litter could harm wildlife such as hedgehogsThe councils warn that litter could harm wildlife such as hedgehogs (Image: Braintree District Council)

Braintree council cabinet member Councillor Wendy Schmitt said the campaign was "simple" and urged residents to get involved.

Cllr Schmitt said: "It only takes a few pieces of litter to ruin a habitat and put wildlife at risk.

"Bin it or take it home!"

She added: "Ducks, hedgehogs and birds can all be at risk within their own environment by even the smallest piece of litter and in many cases it costs their lives.

"The financial price to the local tax payer is just over £1.5 million to keep our district clean and tidy."