Cleaning the Glencairn Side Trail
Recently I posted on our facebook page asking for more ideas and suggestions of areas we should hold clean ups, I had wanted to branch out across the country rather than patrolling the Ards and North down coast. The post got many great suggestions and this was the first we acted on. Heading into Belfast I wasn't sure how many would turn up to help and how much litter we would find, having not been to this area for many years.
We ended up with a small group made up of 3 volunteers and myself, but as for rubbish, we picked up, 19 bags including 366 recyclables, more than 200 of which were green carlsburg cans. On top of this we found several unusual items including a hairdryer with a European plug, clearly someone believed they needed it in the middle of the park, and a kitchen sink, where they must have been washing their hair...
We usually focus on beach clean ups, or river clean ups, and although there is a river running along the trail, this clean up had another significant purpose. The area around Glencairn is one of the few large areas of nature around Belfast, home to many wild animals from hedgehogs to badgers and even Irish hares. While many bird species including red grouse, stone chats, skylark, snipe and other upland breeding birds live the area, while peregrine falcons and ravens can be seen hunting. A number of species found here are identified as Northern Ireland Priority Species. Meaning that they are endangered or at risk. Litter poses a threat to all wildlife, either by direct means such as suffocation through ingestion or entanglement, injury on broke glass, or by habitat destruction that causes a ripple effect throughout the eco-system. If you are in the area, or live nearby and see litter please pick it up, there are more than enough bins around the park to accommodate you and if not, remember you carried it to the park, you can always carry it home.
Thanks to Sara Mckinght for suggesting this location and helping with the organisation of the clean up. If you have any ideas of where we should hold a clean up, we have slots open in the summer and are looking for new locations for September. Message me on facebook at Clear Ripple Projects, or comment below.
The area we focused on today is the Glencairn road and side trail, another beautiful spot in Northern Ireland,
Upon arrival we found 4 bags (3 pictured) of fly tipped rubbish, just to the left of the car park. At least it was already bagged up for us.
Piles of rubbish like this were a common sight.
The kitchen sink...
More litter in the undergrowth.
The worst area by far was near the bottom of the trail beside the river, we spent almost 2 hours on this 1 spot.
The amount of cans was pretty ridiculous, (see below)
Some of the volunteers doing amazing work helping clean their local area.
The litter was everywhere, from the road to drive into the glencairn area to the top of the mountain.
IN total we collected 19 bags full of litter, which we tipped into these 5 extra large removal bags.
Cans were a serious problem, with more than 200 Carlsburg cans collected in 3 hours, so much so that it filled a blue bin at the recycling centre...