When we think of the countryside, we imagine fields, fresh air and fantastic views, but in reality litter is blighting the countryside and our roads.
One group of fed up locals took matters into their own hands, last Sunday morning and cleaned up the Ardcumber Road in Cookstown.
One member of the group, Sebastian Graham explained to the Mid Ulster Mail why they decided to take action against litter.
He said: “I decided to act upon rubbish in my area because of the mess and damage it does to the wildlife and to the general appearance of the area.”
He discovered online, that help was being provided by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.
“Anyone could have applied and it’s all free. We formed a small team to deal with the rubbish and carried out a clean out on Sunday morning,” said Sebastian.
Keep N.I Beautiful provided resources to help with clearing up, such as gloves, bags, reflective clothing and litter pickers.
In total the team cleared out 12 bags of rubbish, four of which can be recycled and over 100 bottles.
Sebastian warns there is still a lot more to be done, but praises Cookstown Council and Loughry College for contributing to their efforts by removing tyres and other rubbish collected.
A range of items were found during the clear up including, a computer screen, concrete blocks, a carpet, unopened bottled water, a pram and most troubling, disposable needles were discovered.
‘Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’ is a charity working towards ‘the vision of a cleaner, greener Northern Ireland’, They aim to do this by running environmental education programmes and awareness raising campaigns, through increasing volunteering opportunities and reporting on local environmental quality.
“Unfortunately less than twenty four hours after we had finished, rubbish had already been dumped on the road. Hopefully people act in their area by either helping lift rubbish or reporting people who throw rubbish from their vehicles’ concludes Sebastian.
The Adopt a Spot programme will formally enable volunteer groups across Northern Ireland to adopt an area and look after it.
Adopters can be anyone, from families, community or youth groups, schools, businesses and sporting associations.
Volunteering is a great way to get out and about and give you a feel good factor whilst also making a difference in your community.
TIDY Northern Ireland will provide the successful groups with a pack containing all the equipment you need, like a branded back pack, travel mugs and a helpful hints booklet.