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We face a mountainous battle against litter louts

Published 23/03/2016

I RECENTLY walked to the summit of Cuilcagh Mountain on the border between Fermanagh and Cavan which, in 2015, the public gained easier access to by way of 1.5km of broadwalk built at the cost of £250,000.

I enjoyed the walk immensely; it was an opportunity to escape the sights and noise of modernity and be reminded of my insignificance in the cosmic scale of time and space. Yet I was disappointed to find that this hallowed place - one of Northern Ireland's premier tourist attractions - was desecrated by litter.

What was disheartening was that the plastic bags and bottles, tin cans, cigarette butts and packaging, sweet and chocolate wrappers, tin foil and non-biodegradable wipes were discarded by the group of people - those who had come to appreciate the mountain - who, one would have thought, had sufficient awareness and level of care not to litter. If such a demographic can't abide by the ethic "do no harm" and take responsibility for disposing of unwanted packaging in the appropriate way, what hope is there of humankind effectively addressing environmental problems that require commitment and a radical change in outlook - problems such as climate change, ecocide, water and air pollution?

I suggest that people who walk to the summit of Cuilcagh Mountain, or by any lake, or through any wood, take a bag to put their litter - and the litter they find en route - in.

We can't force others to behave in a civil and ecologically sensitive way.

But we can be role models for positive change.

Setting a good example makes all the difference.

LAURENCE SPEIGHT

Derrygonnelly, Co Fermanagh

Belfast Telegraph

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