Volunteers On Land and Sea Take Part In An “Extreme” Clean Of Ardglass Harbour
Restoring the beauty of the Sheepland Coast, from Ballyhornan to Ardglass, is the mission for the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership (SLLP) Coastal Guardian Coast Care Project. Made possible by a grant from the Live Here Love Here small grant scheme a series of beach cleaning activities have been taking place to tackle dangerous and unsightly coastal litter that mars the beauty of one of the loveliest stretches of coast in Northern Ireland. On Saturday 22nd September, volunteers on land and at sea worked together to tackle the unsightly plastic bottles, cans, buckets and other litter that had accumulated in the bays around Ardglass Harbour.
The team effort was co-ordinated by the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership, working in partnership with Northern Ireland Fishing Harbour Authority and with local kayakers and boat owners volunteering on the water and other volunteers on land. Litter was collected and bagged from difficult to access bays by those on foot, then transferred to the kayakers who relayed the rubbish across the harbour to a skip on Ardglass harbour. A fantastic team effort that resulted in over 60 bags and a huge amount of larger items being collected and removed from the environment.
This clean-up followed on from a similar event in 2017, where our team of volunteers successfully cleaned-up of Killough Coastal Path, also made possible by Live Here Love Here small grant.
Chairman of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Mark Murnin said “It is fantastic to see volunteers and local people working to clean our coasts and remove the dangerous and unsightly litter that is sadly seen all too frequently on our shores. The SLLP “Coast Care “initiative aims to empower local volunteers and communities to remove marine litter, improving the visual amenity of the landscape, benefitting not only the local communities but also the volunteers who take part, the tourists who visit and, of course, the wildlife! Keep up the good work everyone!”
SLLP is a partnership of stakeholders involved in the management of the Strangford and Lecale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Strangford Lough Marine Protected Area. It is funded by the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs; Newry, Mourne and Down District Council; and Ards and North Down Borough Council.
This year so far SLLP has worked with over 130 community volunteers and lifted approximately 160 full sacks of litter from our coast. When combined with all the larger items that our beach cleaning volunteers have also removed from the shore, we have removed approximately 1.25 Tonnes of litter this year to date!
PJ Gault Chair of SLLP Stakeholder Committee said “Long term we want to reduce the litter which comes from boats at sea and also from people using our coastal paths. The message to all is to “Protect our environment, take your rubbish away with you and dispose of it responsibly”.
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