The National Trust has revealed that any rubbish flushed down the toilet could end up in one of Cornwall’s most prized beauty spots – and many people had no idea.

Anything flushed down the toilet or put in a drain in Helston is at risk of ending up in Loe Pool, on the Penrose Estate near Helston.

While the water does pass through the town’s sewage works, some items still manage to slip through.

This particularly includes anything dropped in Helston’s kennels – the waterways that run down the side of many town centre streets – including cigarette butts.

Loe Pool is Cornwall’s largest natural lake and the home to many rare species of plants and wildlife.

In a bid to encourage people to think about what they are flushing, Penrose National Trust has put out a post saying: “As you might know, if you live in Helston, anything you flush down the loo or put down the drain ends up in Loe Pool.

“The sewage works do a good job to clean the water before it enters the pool, but everyone can help by being careful about what goes down your drain.

“By using cleaning products and soaps sparingly and switching to eco-friendly brands if you're able to, you will help make a difference. Thank you for helping protect this special place.”

The information shocked many people on social media, who had no idea that this would be where rubbish ended up if it slipped through the net.

The National Trust has been working to maintain and improve the water quality of the pool for many years, founding the Loe Pool Forum in 1996 to reverse what was then a worrying decline in water quality.

The partnership includes Natural England, South West Water and Cornwall Wildlife Trust among others and continues to exist today.

They have been working with farmers who manage the land surrounding the Loe, encouraging them to reduce their nitrate and phosphate inputs by changing farming practices, and prevent nutrients running off the fields and into the water during heavy rainfall.

The area is now a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone, meaning the amount of fertiliser and organic manure spread on the land has been reduced and now only takes place during a few months in the summer.

By doing so they are helping to prevent eutrophication - the process that sees increased nutrient levels in the water causing a change in ecology and algal blooms.

A third level sewage treatment plant, at South West Water’s plant in Helston, has also seen the amount of phosphorous entering the pool drop by three-quarters and, thanks to RNAS Culdrose also upgrading its sewage treatment works in 2015, levels dropped by 80 per cent.