Hundreds of items were collected at Carnlough beach by 40 boys and girls from a local primary school who were learning about the impact litter has on the marine environment.
The pupils, from St John’s Primary School (P3 and P5) in the village were supported by their teachers and keen members of the public as part of the Marine Conservation Societies’ Big Beach Clean Weekend.
The initiative aims to make Carnlough Beach a cleaner, more welcoming and safer place to visit.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Paul Reid, said “It is fantastic to see young people making their beach a more beautiful and safer place to visit. This clean up activity will hopefully give them a real sense of civic pride for the area they live in. I would like to thank all the children for their hard work and effort, they have done their bit to make Carnlough beach more attractive for all the community, as well as visitors to the area and tourists.”
Mary Haughey, Principal of St John’s Primary school, Carnlough, said: “St John’s Primary school and Carnlough Community Nursery are in the enviable position of being situated across the road from the beach. This provides many opportunities for the pupils but also allows them to witness the devastating effects of pollution. As Principal of the school and nursery we are very proud of the school environment and teaching and non-teaching staff encourage the pupils from nursery through to P7 to become involved in looking after the community.
“The children thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and hopefully the event will in some way raise awareness of looking after not only the beach but all aspects of our community.”
Children and staff learned how littering can affect the community and local wildlife and also what everyone can do about it.
Lizzie Prior, MCS Beach and River Clean Project Officer said: “We are delighted to see the efforts being made to clean up and survey Carnlough Beach. This survey will help us tackle that litter at source. Over the last two decades, beach litter has steadily risen. Our volunteers clean and survey the litter on hundreds of beaches every September, making this survey the most respected and long standing in the UK.”
Some unusual items were found including a shoe, a hose pipe, angling line with hook and sinker and a bicycle tyre. Hundreds of items were collected in two hours and six bin bags were filled with litter.