Lifejackets, Greece
There are an estimated 200,000 life jackets on this site in Lesbos alone Lydia Smith/Jack Rae

A picture is worth a thousand words - or in this case, 200,000. This is the number of abandoned lifejackets left in a pile in one site on the Greek island of Lesbos, as a stark reminder of the plight of refugees and migrants seeking sanctuary in Europe.

The life jackets - some of which are fake - have been left alongside discarded clothing, shoes and boats by men, women and children escaping conflict, violence and instability.

Locals say the piles also pose an ecological threat to the island.

Since 2015, more than one million people have travelled through Greece in search of a better life. In August 2016, an average of around 40 people were landing on the Greek island every day.

Although the number of people travelling through Lesbos has reduced slightly in the last few months, there is still a steady stream of people arriving on the island, situated just a few miles from the Turkish coast.

Meanwhile, thousands of people are still stranded in Greece as a result of the EU-Turkey agreement and due to border closures along the Balkan route. Many people have been separated from family members who have already made it to other countries in Europe.

Refugee 'lifejacket graveyard' on Lesbos Owen Humphreys

Although the Greek government has created temporary housing sites, many do not meet accepted humanitarian standards and have been badly affected by the freezing winter temperatures Greece has experienced over the last few months.

In January, there were a number of fatalities inside the Moria refugee camp, a former army base located near the town of Mytilene in Lesbos. Refugees living inside the camp told IBTimes UK of the harsh conditions inside the camp, such as a lack of clean water, chronic overcrowding and freezing tents.