Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

'Lagan fridge' finally to be removed from beauty spot in Northern Ireland

By Angela Rainey

Published 18/02/2016

The discarded fridge in the River Lagan yesterday
The discarded fridge in the River Lagan yesterday
The discarded fridge in the River Lagan yesterday

A leaking fridge dumped at a beauty spot is to be finally removed.

Nature lover Sarah Hughes said she was "absolutely delighted" that the eyesore was to be dredged out.

The 41-year-old has been walking through Lagan Valley Regional Park up to three times a week for the past 14 years.

She was taking a stroll just before Christmas when she spotted the abandoned fridge.

"I was walking up the towpath and noticed what looked like a big white box with white foam coming out of it dumped in the river," Ms Hughes said.

"In January I noticed it was still there and I told friends, who suggested agencies to ring."

Despite calling four different bodies - Belfast City Council, the Rivers Agency and the park and Lagan Weir authorities - Sarah was told by all that it was not their responsibility to remove it.

"It was so frustrating to have made so many phone calls from January to be told that there was nothing anyone could do," she added.

In frustration she contacted the Nolan Show to highlight the problem, and the story was subsequently dubbed "fridgegate" on Twitter.

PR consultant Sarah added: "To dump it there would have taken some effort because there's a towpath on one side and brambles on the other, so I do not understand what sort of idiot would do that.

"The area is advertised as a place of tranquillity and natural beauty and it's very popular with families, tourists and joggers, but then there's a fridge dumped in the middle of it. It's a blight on what is a very special area.

"When no one was willing to help, I thought I'd go to Nolan. Now I am absolutely delighted that something is being done.

"Although it is not the responsibility of Belfast City Council to remove it, they have volunteered to send people down there to take it, which is great."

Yesterday workers from the council were reported to be surveying the river to work out the best way to safely remove the fridge.

A council spokesman said: "While the council is not responsible for articles dumped in the water, we agreed on this occasion, in conjunction with the Rivers Agency, to remove the fridge."

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph