Clean the Quoile supporters were out in force on Sunday 4th June for a community litter pick at Jane’s Shore in Downpatrick.
The River Quoile is an area of outstanding natural beauty that is enjoyed by picnicers, dog walkers, runners and anglers throughout the year. What spoils the experience is litter.
Plastic and other discarded litter can change the structure of river habitats, reduce the light level in the waters beneath the debris, and even deplete the dissolved oxygen in the water.
This can damage the ecosystem of the river and, by extension, the surrounding grassland and wooded areas.
Perhaps most serious of all, is how these contaminants can affect wildlife. Particles of plastic can be consumed by birds or fish or they can get entangled in bags or other debris.
Clean the Quoile representatives, Anthea McAuley and Stephen O’Hare welcomed 15 volunteers from across the local community, including Councillor Philip Campbell, Councillor Oonagh Hanlon, Patrick Brown MLA.
Commenting on the litter collected by the volunteers, Anthea McAuley, campaign lead said:
“Our wonderful volunteers collected ten bags of litter from around the paths, hedges and overgrowth areas at Quoile road and Jane’s Shore. We removed food wrappers and drinks bottles, cans, a sofa cushion, car parts and a tyre, odd shoes and socks, and even a full set of coat hangers!
“The fly tipping items were particularly shocking to find in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
“We are reminding everyone who visits the Quoile area, to take their rubbish home and to not discard wrappers from their car. There are plenty of bins provided along the pathways and picnic areas – and these can also be used to discard dog-poo bags.
“If litter is intentionally or accidentally discarded on the ground, it can get carried into the river by wind or rain, and this can have a detrimental impact on the local environment, even carrying the debris out to Strangford Lough.”
Live Here Love Here and Newry Mourne Down Council donated bin bags and litter picks for the clean up, and Finnebrogue Artisan donated Better Naked bacon so all volunteers could enjoy a tasty Sunday brunch when all the hard work was done.
Clean the Quoile group has joined Adopt A Spot, a community-based volunteer programme focused on promoting civic pride and encouraging collective responsibility for the environment.
Families, community groups, youth groups, schools, businesses and sporting associations in Downpatrick are encouraged to help foster a healthier, greener and cleaner Quoile area by getting involved in our clean up activities.