Carrickfergus Cadets inspire community clean up of maritime area

Young cadets get ready to take part in the clean up operation.
Young cadets get ready to take part in the clean up operation.

A Live Here Love Here grant has helped to inspire a clean-up operation of Carrick’s maritime area.

On the back of a £500 award, Carrickfergus Sea and Royal Marine Cadets joined with their neighbours, Belfast Lough Sailability and Carrickfergus Sailing Club, to remove plastics, cans and assorted debris from the waters of the harbour and marina and surrounding area.

Over 40 volunteers took part in the community effort at the maritime area.

Over 40 volunteers took part in the community effort at the maritime area.

Over 40 young people and adult volunteers took part. The cadets with waterborne assistance from the sailing club, worked extremely hard and it was only when they had started, that the huge amount of material which needed to be lifted became even more apparent.

The amount of plastics in the form primarily of bottles and fast food packaging was most substantial, over 60 bags were filled. Also collected were lengths of hose, nylon rope and a large section of fishing net, washed onto the shoreline.

The young people and the adults involved received very positive comments and thanks from residents and passers-by. This all reassured the participants that the aim “to create a much more appealing area for local residents and visitors to the Maritime area of the town by making it a cleaner, greener, safer environment for everyone,” was worthwhile and appreciated.

Spokesman Winston Cheshire said: “Carrickfergus Sea Cadets, Belfast Lough Sailability and Carrickfergus Sailing Club have been neighbours and users of the waters around Carrickfergus for many years and we can be seen on the water in crafts of many different types, we are all aware of the issues surrounding pollution in the water and surrounding area.

Putting boating skills to good use to access discarded items.

Putting boating skills to good use to access discarded items.

“We enjoy good relations with our neighbours but rarely get the opportunity to all get together, we hope that by engaging in this project and similar schemes in the future we will have a greater understanding of the needs of the community and foster a greater sense of pride in our area.”

The Small Grants Scheme is a core element of the Live Here Love Here campaign, run by environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. The campaign is supported by 10 local councils plus the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, McDonald’s UK and Coca-Cola.

Jodie McAneaney, Live Here Love Here manager, commented: “Last year we supported 164 local community projects which has risen to 191 this year. This is an incredible opportunity for people to get the valuable support they need to further improve their environment.

“We want to thank the selfless volunteers who are dedicating their free time and hard work to keep Northern Ireland beautiful. We want to hear from as many groups as possible who actively ‘Live Here Love Here’.”

Volunteers removing debris in the maritime area.

Volunteers removing debris in the maritime area.