Peter Harper, Shoreline Environment Officer, and Chie McGuckin, Finance Officer, who work at Lough Neagh Partnership, have been out on the ground on the northern shores of Lough Neagh spreading some festive cheer by removing some of the litter that has washed up on its shores over the past year.
Much of the rubbish is made up of plastic containers or bottles and not only can this be unsightly, it can have a negative impact on the important species and habitats that are scattered along the shore. The team targeted both Reas Wood and Farrs Bay, designated as an Special Area of Conservation and one of the highest conservation designations a site can possess. The north east Antrim shore of the Lough is particularly vulnerable to the accumulation of plastic since the prevailing wind on the Lough is south westerly, thus pushing plastic litter up to the north east corner. Much plastic litter is also coming down the rivers that flow into the Lough with the Maine and Six mile Water contributing to the particular problem along the Antrim shoreline.
Gerry Darby, Manager of the Lough Neagh Partnership, commented on the work. He said: “The Lough Neagh Partnership has drawn up a management plan for Reas Wood and Farrs Bay Nature Reserve site and one of the main recommendations is the removal of the large amounts of litter washed up on its shores. This is just the continuation of a long process of the removal of litter from the Lough’s shore and at protecting the Lough’s rich and important environment and our staff were keen to give of their time this festive season to enhance the area by removing some of the litter that has sadly built up on the site over time.”
Lough Neagh Partnership would appeal to people to be responsible this festive season and dispose of their rubbish in the correct manner.