Belfast Telegraph

French signpost found on Co Down beach during litter tally

By Sarah Rainey

From a Second World War bomb to a television, a set of golf clubs and a wetsuit, our Big Spring Clean campaign has uncovered some unusual items of rubbish.

A weekend clean-up in Co Down did not disappoint after volunteers found a signpost from a remote French fishing village washed up on the beach.

Members of the Cloughey District Community Association were confused when the obscure sign, reading ‘Criée de Quiberon’, was discovered in the sand on Saturday morning.

Along with 30 bags of fishing lines, tyres and oil drums, the find was picked up by a group of enthusiastic volunteers scouring the Newtownards strand for litter.

Patricia Magee, national coastal officer at Tidy NI, said the signpost had been abandoned in the Bay of Biscay before ending up on our shores.

“We were wondering if it was on a French fishing trawler and carried up on the coast at some point,” she said.

“I don't think the Atlantic Ocean's circulatory systems would carry it from France up the Irish Sea, but you never know.”

The community group teamed up with Tidy NI to organise the beach clean, donning wellies and carrying litter pickers to cover nearly two miles of waste-strewn sand and rocks.

Cloughey beach is one of the tidiest in Great Britain, according to research from the Marine Conservation Society, and residents have won awards for their environmental work.

Eric Rainey, a former warden on Strangford Lough, said it was “absolutely fantastic” to see so many people helping out.

“The villagers can all stand up and take a bow for all the work they’ve put in,” he added.

A family staying in a nearby caravan park joined around 20 volunteers picking up waste.

During last week’s Big Spring Clean campaign, which ran from April 8 to 17, the Belfast Telegraph teamed up with local campaigners to put an end to littering.

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Above: Where the signpost was found (A) and Quiberon in France (B)


Last week the Belfast Telegraph helped recruit a green army of volunteers to clean up our communities. The Big Spring Clean, in association with TIDY NI, saw more than 3,000 people picking up litter from local beaches, country lanes and town centres. Hundreds of bags of rubbish were gathered to spruce up the province. Visit

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