CAPS clean up the River Braid

County Antrim Paddle Sport (CAPS) are asking the public “Canoe Help” keep litter at bay locally?

Friday, 14th May 2021, 11:22 am

Their appeal was issued after they carried out a very successful litter pick along a stretch of the Braid River in Broughshane.

With some members of the club on the river in their canoes, whilst others searched along the river bank, they managed to lift six

refuse bags of general litter, three tyres, a plastic oil drum and piping, a bucket, and even a part of a low rider bike. Their packed bags were then collected by the Mid and East Antrim Council the next day for disposal.

County Antrim Paddle Sport (CAPS) members who carried out a litter pick along the Braid River and river bank

The evening was organised by club member Marion O’Dornan who ensured all safety guidelines were adhered to. The event also gave the group a chance to meet and

catch up after the various Lockdowns which prevented many of their usual paddle trips. 

Members started at The Mill in Broughshane and either paddled or walked along the banks of the River Braid with litter pickers in hand tidying the stretch along the Buttermilk Bridge Walk and finishing in the Playground Area car park.   

“We were surprised at the amount of litter along this small section of the river,” Marion said. 

Dougie Tyler from CAPS looks on as Marion Dornan and Callum Corr (red canoe) and Claire and Niamh Corr (green canoe) remove some of the litter on the Braid River

CAPS pointed out that, with the increasing numbers of people out in popular areas such as this, the Waterway Ireland, Leave No Trace Guidelines for Getting Outdoors Responsibly and Safely amid COVID 19, reminds the public to dispose of their waste properly and consist of the following: To be considerate, maintaining social distancing, Keep group sizes small and remember the seven principles of Leave No Trace

Plan ahead and prepare

Be considerate to others

Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife

Some of the rubbish gathered from the river Braid

Travel and camp on durable ground

Leave what you find

Dispose of waste properly

Minimise the effects of fire

L-R CAPS members Dave Harrison with daughters Martha & Evie Harrison setting off on their litter pick

The younger members of the group also enjoyed the evening and are intending to use these litter pick events as part of their nationally recognised John Muir Award, which is an environmental award scheme focused on wild places and, once restrictions are lifted, they can continue on their Canoe Association Northern Ireland (CANI) Paddle Awards.

CAPS extended thanks to its members for taking part and to the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for the loan of the litter pickers and for providing the refuge bags.

Anyone interested in getting into the sport can find out more information and get contact details of their nearest club by visiting the website at www.cani.org.uk

CAPS members in their canoes removing litter from the Braid