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Clean up the Quoile is a community conservation campaign delivered by The River Quoile Trust based in Downpatrick. Its purpose is to conserve, protect, rehabilitate and improve the waterway area that is known as the River Quoile, for the advancement of environmental, recreational and educational improvement.

Our purpose:

  • restore the River Quoile to its rightful status as Downpatrick’s finest natural asset.
  • improve water quality.
  • improve sustainable recreational access to the river.
  • boost biodiversity.


Why is this important?

The River Quoile is a landmark in County Down, spanning 27 miles from its mouth in Ballynahinch, flowing through Downpatrick to its output at Strangford Lough. While the Quoile Estuary was once an important transport route, these days it’s more synonymous with dog walking and coarse fishing. 

However, it could be so much more if it was cleaned up.

A survey conducted by the group found that 78% of respondents believed the river was not in a good environmental condition, and this was preventing the Quoile area from reaching its full potential.

Local people want to see the river restored.

  • As a destination for water sports and recreation.
  • A tourist hot spot soaked in rich history.
  • An educational hub for learning about the world around us.
  • A cultural asset for local people to be proud off. 


How can I get involved?

Are you a business or member of the local community?

  • Share your stories of the Quoile here and on social media – whether memories from the past or issues of the day, you can help inform the campaign.
  • Follow us on social media – Facebook/Instagram: @cleanthequoileTwitter: @cleanthequoile
  • Help keep the Quoile area tidy and free from litter.  Encourage others to ‘clean up’ after themselves.
  • Organise and participate in litter picks or volunteer in community activities such as bird counting or water testing to help us ‘clean up the Quoile’. Information will be shared on our social media pages.
  • Report any behaviour that could be deemed detrimental to the quality of water or recreational enjoyment at the Quoile, eg dumping, dog fouling
  • Support the campaign and help us raise awareness by signing our petition.
  • If you support the campaign, shout about it – we’ll list your business / group as a supporter of the campaign on our website.


Are you a land steward managing land along the River Quoile and are you ready to commit to a journey that will help reduce river pollution?

  • Re-fence waterways on your land that run into the river. 
  • Ensure correct effluent and slurry management. 
  • Plant trees by river ways to help reduce soil erosion.
  • Responsibly use fertiliser on the land
  • Soil-sample annually to ensure best fertiliser usage and reduce fertiliser run-off. 
  • Engage and work collaboratively with campaign organisers, local farmers and relevant agencies to achieve the aims of the ‘Clean up the Quoile’ campaign.
  • If you support the campaign, shout about it – we’ll list your business / group as a supporter of the campaign on our website.


If you are a community group, school or college:

  • Be part of the solution: collaborate with us to educate students and local residents about the rich history of the River Quoile and its significance to the local area – birdlife and bio-diversity.
  • Utilise our resources to incorporate the River Quoile into ‘the world around us’ topic with a walk around the Quoile or a talk supported by our knowledgeable partners.


If you support the campaign, shout about it – we’ll list your business / group as a supporter of the campaign on our website.

If you would like to discuss the Clean up the Quoile campaign or you’d like more information on how you can get involved in our campaign activities, please email us at hello@cleanthequoile.com.


Mission statement

We want to protect and enhance the River Quoile, and restore it to its rightful status as Downpatrick’s finest natural asset; so it can be preserved for future generations.

Our aim is to:

  • Improve sustainable recreational access to the river
  • Improve water quality
  • Restore bio-diversity

To achieve this, we deliver:

  • Conservation & restoration
  • Education & engagement

The scale of the challenge necessitates a co-ordinated, multi-agency approach with partnership from farmers, landowners, water companies, government bodies and the third sector, as well as the general public.