Shore Clean on the coastal path from Killough to St Johns Point Lighthouse
Kayakers and others caring for the coast
Restoring the beauty of a section of the Lecale Way, from Killough to St John’s Point, is the mission for volunteers on land and at sea who will tackle the unsightly plastic bottles, cans, buckets and other litter that marrs one of the loveliest stretches of coast in Northern Ireland, on Saturday 2 September.
The team effort is being co-ordinated by the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership, working with local kayakers at sea and volunteers on land, who will collect and relay rubbish from inaccessible coves to a Rigid Inflatable Boat and then on to the shore at Killough where it will be collected by Newry , Mourne and Down District Council.
This is the first time that such an approach has been tried and has been made possible by a grant from the Live Here Love Here small grant scheme administered by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful” which is being used to hire the RIB.
Kieron Black is a local resident and keen kayaker and he had this to say ”I was delighted to be approached by the SLLP to help access areas that cannot usually be cleaned because it is so difficult to reach them and to carry rubbish back from them overland. I love being out on the water along this coast and am pleased to be involved in restoring this section. It’s the first time we have tried it so we will just see how well it works on the day.”
Even at this time of year the coastal wildflowers are gorgeous and the walk winds along the lichen covered rocks and secluded bays until you reach the magnificent St John’s Point Lighthouse – the tallest on the island of Ireland.
The clean-up will commence at 11am when volunteers are asked to congregate at the Killough end of the coastal path (there is on street parking along Castle Street and Fishermens’ Row and a public car park at the harbour). The terrain is rough underfoot and the pathway is steep with some scrambling required in places and some stiles to cross. However the first section is reasonably easy to access. Sensible footwear and outdoor weather gear are essential.
Come for one hour or four! Litter picks, plastic gloves and refuse sacks provided. If you enjoy the coast give something back by helping to look after it and if you have never been on this walk then you have a treat in store with coastal experts from SLLP and from amongst the volunteers to tell you more about the area.
This is an SLLP “Coast Care “ initiative. 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.
“Long term we want to reduce the litter which comes from boats at sea and also from people using the coastal path and the message is for walkers is to “Take your rubbish away with you”.
In the event of very bad weather the event will be cancelled – please check SLLP Facebook and twitter www.strangfordlough.org for an update on the morning.
Press contact: Caroline Nolan , SLLP Manager Tel: 028 427 28886, 07740393838