Belfast Telegraph

Club clocks up miles to lift 1.5 tonnes of rubbish in two hours

By Linda Stewart

More than 100 families have collected an incredible 1.5 tonnes of litter after scouring 18 miles of roads round Moneyglass near Toome.

St Ergnat’s GAC organised the clean-up in a “military-style precision operation” with volunteers gathering some 300 bags as part of the Belfast Telegraph’s Big Spring Clean campaign.

We’ve teamed up with Tidy Northern Ireland and DoE Rethink Waste for the campaign, which aims to inspire thousands of people across Northern Ireland to roll up their sleeves and clear up the litter blighting their towns and countryside this spring.

Volunteers taking part in St Ergnat’s Big Spring Clean collected high-visibility vests, litter bags and gloves donated by Ballymena and Antrim councils from the clubhouse before setting off on their mission.

In order to encourage as many young members as possible, the event was also promoted as a sponsored Big Spring Clean, so that volunteers had the opportunity to receive new St Ergnat’s club merchandise.

Each volunteer was allocated a half-mile section of road throughout the greater Moneyglass area, including cleaning around the club grounds.

The groups set off at 2pm and continued collecting roadside litter until 4pm, when a team of volunteer drivers collected almost 300 sacks of litter and brought them back to the collection point at St Ergnat’s club grounds, where they were stockpiled to be collected by Antrim Borough Council the following day.

The hard workers were rewarded with tea and refreshments in the club rooms, where everyone came together to reflect on what was described by all as a hugely successful community initiative.

St Ergnat’s chairman Gerard Weir said: “This was a fantastic community event which not only helps improve the appearance of our local community, but will hopefully educate our younger members not to litter the countryside.”

A total of 18 miles of local roads was cleaned as part of the event.

Antrim Borough Council confirmed that the roadside litter from the Moneyglass Big Spring Clean amounted to one-and-a half-tonnes in weight.

St Ergnat’s GAC thanked every family in the community who participated in the Big Spring Clean and especially all the sponsors, caterers, litter collectors, organisers, photographers and drivers who made the day successful.


The Big Spring Clean needs your help. For information |on how to join our 'green army' during the month-long event, go to You can also talk to your local council or call Tidy NI on 028 9073 6920. The Big Spring Clean has now more than 20,000 volunteers.

Roll of honour

The areas cleaned up so far this year:

  • Ram’s Island, Antrim
  • The Hollow, Belfast
  • Glendarragh River, Kesh
  • Crawfordsburn Country Park
  • Whitepark Bay, Ballycastle
  • Ballyronan Marina
  • St Anthony’s PS school grounds, Craigavon
  • Andrews Memorial PS school grounds, Comber
  • Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster day of action
  • Main Street, Grange, Newtownards
  • Groggan PS grounds and Glendale, Randalstown
  • Harpurs Hill and New Mills, Coleraine
  • Rathlin Island
  • Whitehead, Carrickfergus
  • Cloughey Beach, |Ards Peninsula
  • Hart Memorial PS, Portadown
  • Whitehill and Bloomfield estates, Bangor
  • Glenullin, Coleraine
  • Carntogher, Maghera
  • Cookstown PS
  • Killard Point, Downe Breezemount estate, Bangor
  • Enagh Lough and Strathfoyle
  • St Conor’s PS, Omagh
  • Skelton’s Cut, Dromore
  • Ardstraw, Co Tyrone
  • Beechland estate, Lisburn
  • Ballycastle Forest
  • New Grosvenor Stadium, Lisburn
  • Recreation grounds, shorefront, Whitehead
  • Randalstown
  • Earlview PS, Newtownabbey
  • Cootehill Road, Crawfordsburn
  • Comber
  • Carrickfergus seafront
  • Rathcoole Diamond
  • Waterfoot Beach
  • Parkhall PS, Antrim
  • Pond Park Nursery School
  • St Jude’s, Ravenhill Road

Upcoming clean-ups

  • Brantry Lough, Eglish
  • Greenvale Woods
  • Donemana PS
  • Donaghadee PS
  • Portglenone Forest
  • River Lagan

Belfast Telegraph


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