A small army of volunteers descended on Whitepark Bay to blitz the litter swept up by winter storms — and found themselves in good company.
They were joined by a herd of curious cows that wandered down from the pastures overlooking the spectacular north coast beach.
Some 45 volunteers swept the beach clear of rubbish earlier this month, gathering around 80kg.
The event was organised by the National Trust as part of the Big Spring Clean, a joint campaign by the Belfast Telegraph, Tidy NI and DoE aimed at galvanising people to tackle litter hotspots.
We are hoping thousands of volunteers will be inspired to get involved in litter picks across Northern Ireland throughout Big Spring Clean month in April.
Although much of the litter gathered at Whitepark Bay came in the form of small pieces of plastic such as bottle tops, cotton bud sticks and fishing tackle, this ‘invisible’ pollution can often do the most harm to marine wildlife.
Among the volunteers were Dunseverick and Ballintoy Scouts, who weren’t afraid to get stuck in and get their hands dirty.
One young volunteer said: “It was really fun. The best part was when cattle came down on to the beach.”
After the event the volunteers were treated to afternoon tea at Sheep Island Youth Hostel, Ballintoy, where they were thanked for their hard work by community learning and interpretation officer Rachael Conway.
“It’s fantastic to see so many people actually getting involved in conservation,” she said.