The Ballinderry River’s once quiet banks were alive this week as a band of green warriors tackled the build-up of rubbish along the waterway.
The Holy Trinity River Warriors — students from Cookstown’s Holy Trinity College — braved a wet and windy February afternoon clearing away rubbish and helping to encourage wildlife into the Ballinderry River’s already thriving ecosystem.
The HTRW is the area’s newest green organisation, formed in September 2010 by pupils and teachers determined to make a difference to their local environment.
This week’s clean-up drive, marking World Wetlands Day, grew out of a visit to the river in November by pupils aged between 12 and 13, led by science technician Chris Callan.
The shocking amount of rubbish they saw, mostly left behind by the public, spurred them to take their own action.
The students enlisted the support and help of various groups, the main one being the Ballinderry River Enhancement Association (BREA), along with the Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) volunteers.
Secretary of BREA Mark Horton said: “We are delighted that the new group has formed in the school and that the students are so enthusiastic about the river.”
The students also put up bat and bird boxes to boost wildlife and encourage nesting.
“The new bird and bat boxes will increase the opportunities for our native riverbank wildlife to flourish and the removal of litter will improve the health of the river for wildlife and local people,” Mr Horton added.