Seafront stroller Kerri Harrison was disgusted to find two used hypodermic needles and a large dead rat on Bognor Regis beach.
She made the gruesome discovery during a lunchtime walk along the busy promenade.
The mother-of-two said: “I was shocked by what I found.
“Our children are always on the beach and have been taken there by their school to clean up the beach.
“God forbid what might happen if they picked up the needles along with the dead rat.
“It doesn’t take much for a child to get hold of a needle like that without realising what it is.
“It’s so unfair that we have these beautiful beaches on our doorstep and we are too scared to use them.”
Kerri came across the unwanted surprise about 12.30pm on Sunday. She was walking with some friends along the beach just to the west of the pier when she saw the dead rat.
A few paces on, and she saw a used needle, then another a few paces further on.
Two or three empty bottles of spirits were nearby as well.
“It’s dark down there on the beach because there’s no lighting and, if you drop down behind the sea wall, you can’t be seen,” said Felpham resident Kerri.
“Bognor keeps losing its Blue Flag seafront award and it’s no wonder if that is the condition of the beach.
“It will put people off coming to the town and that will hit all the businesses along there who rely on that trade.
“Arun District Council needs to get people down there clearing it up all the time.
“There were a lot of people on the seafront at that time as well because there was a rally of about 100 scooters outside the pier and that attracted a lot of attention.
“I saw one of my friends with her children so I warned her about what I had found.
“I’m sure other places have these types of problems, but it’s horrific when you’re the person who finds these items.”
Kerri, who has a daughter aged eight and a 12-year-old son, usually visits Felpham beach. But she made a special trip to Bognor because her friends wanted to walk on the pier.
An Arun District Council spokesman said: “We’re proud of our beaches and work hard to maintain them.
“Bognor Regis proudly flies the Blue Flag, meaning it’s one of the best in the country, and this report of needles and a dead rat is very worrying.
“As soon as we were notified, contractors made an immediate visit to the area, but the items were gone.
“Thankfully, these types of alarming finds are rare. In this instance, the items were not reported directly to us.
“We would always encourage people to contact us on 01903 737500, even out of hours, and we will ensure they are safely disposed of as quickly as possible.
“It’s important needles are reported directly to us so we can monitor where they are being left and address any recurring problems.”