ONE hundred bags of litter have been collected by volunteers in Maghera and Tirkane as part of the ‘The Big Spring Clean’.
The event on Saturday 14 April was organised by Carntogher Community Association and Slaughtneil GAC inspired by the Tidy Northern Ireland campaign to clean up local communities.
Over 100 volunteers took part and cleaned up the wider area of Tirkane which is home to one of Ireland’s greatest preserved Sweat houses (an early type of sauna from the 18th Century), as well as the wider Maghera area.
The idea behind the clean up came from Claire Doherty from An Carn who felt that something had to be done about the growing litter problem on the roads in the area.
They collected around 100 bags of rubbish and some unusual finds amongst this rubbish included a TV, Traffic cone, a car bonnet, fuel drums and numerous plastic farming bags.
The group designed their own posters and advertised the clean up throughout the community and the support received on the day was impressive, Nicola Murray from Tidy Northern Ireland said:
“The community support in the Slaughtneil shows that people are proud of the areas where they live and they no longer want their roads and countryside to be strewn with rubbish, volunteers of all ages rolled up their sleeves and got involved with many vowing to keep up the good work!”
The clean up received great support from Magherafelt District Council who provided equipment and rubbish collection, but the real litter heroes of the day were the volunteers who took part and those who scoured the roads afterwards for the Blue and Yellow TIDY Northern Ireland bags that were left full and dotted throughout the area.
Claire Doherty from An Carn said: “Carntogher Community Association and Slaughtneil GAC are delighted with the response from the local community to The Big Spring Clean. Both groups are working together to enhance and develop the Carntogher/Slaughtneil area through a range of different projects and preserving the local environment is key to this work.
“We hope that by educating our young people on the issue of litter we are preventing problems in the future. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the local people who gave up their spare time, Magherafelt District Council and Tidy NI for their support to run this successful event.”