Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Sperrins spruce-up by kids that helped clear mountain of rubbish

Big Spring clean at Glenullin

Bags filled with decaying animal parts have been discovered by people clearing litter from country roads in the Sperrins Mountains.

The macabre find was made by volunteers who braved showers to clear up around 20km of isolated roads round Glenullin GAC as part of the Belfast Telegraph’s Big Spring Clean campaign.

Eight bags of animal parts were found tied and dumped at the side of the road. The volunteers also came across the decomposing carcass of a sheep and a group of children discovered a box filled with syringes which was discarded at the roadside.

They also found empty barrels and cat litter — which is often used for fuel laundering.

The Belfast Telegraph has teamed up with Tidy Northern Ireland and DoE Rethink Waste in a bid to inspire thousands of people across Northern Ireland to roll up their sleeves and clean up the litter blighting their area.

Around 80 adults and children tackled litter in the Sperrins as part of a weekend event organised by Glenullin GAC.

Organiser Donna Rainey said that in a 500m stretch of road they found eight farm feed bags containing the remains of dead animals, as well as an exposed sheep carcass, milk cartons and a mass of drinks containers, some of which dated back to 2002.

Patricia Magee of Tidy NI said: “The enthusiasm of the community in Glenullin is an example to everyone and hopefully this will continue to educate young and old. The effort they put into keeping the area tidy allows everyone to benefit from its beauty.

“They covered 20km of roads around the Glen and afterwards blue rubbish bags could be seen dotted along roadsides for miles outside of Glenullin, showing drivers that people care about their local area.

“One group even found a box containing syringes that had been dumped along a path where children found it! It’s a good thing the kids were supervised.

“There was a serious amount of fly-tipping on the roads, including construction materials that had been dumped. On one 500-metre stretch two of us gathered 15 bags of rubbish — it was shocking because you couldn’t see it at all until you started poking about, but every step you took you could feel plastic bottles crunching.

“We even found tins of Tennant’s and their use-by date was 2002, so they had been there for more than 10 years.”

Afterwards volunteers returned to Glenullin GAA hall, where everyone enjoyed tea and sandwiches and all the children received an Easter egg.

Factfile

For information on how to get involved in the month-long event this April, go to the Tidy Northern Ireland website www.bigspringcleanni.org. Alternatively, you can talk to your local council or ring Tidy Northern Ireland direct on 028 9073 6920. The Big Spring Clean now boasts a ‘green army' of 13,600 people and have gathered 122 tonnes of rubbish.

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