Volunteers wanted for Mid Ulster clean up

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Fancy volunteering to be part of a team to clean up litter in your part of Mid Ulster?

The annual Big Spring Clean wants you to get in contact with them and do your bit to keep the local countryside clean and tidy.

You can either volunteer or create your own plan to target a particular area or location.

Several locations in the district have already been cleaned or lined up to be tidied up between now and May 20.

The Big Spring Clean is a province-wide campaign organised by charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s Live Here Love Here programme.

Live Here Love Here is a national campaign aimed at promoting civic pride and a community can-do attitude by improving environmental quality, tackling issues such as poor environmental quality, littering and dilapidation, by encouraging volunteers to take practical action in their local communities.

It works in partnership with a number of agencies and authorities, including Mid Ulster District Council.

Last year 119,000 volunteers took part, making it the largest volunteer clean up in the country.

This year, as Big Spring Clean launches its month-long campaign, problematic plastics are high up on the agenda.

“Plastic in our environment is not just litter, it’s a pollutant, making up two of the top three most frequently encountered litter items.

A staggering 80% of this litter ends up in our oceans which is incredibly costly and difficult, if not impossible to remove, devastating coast lines and harming marine life which in turn means plastic is entering our food chain, damaging our health.

Speaking at the launch, Jodie McAneaney, Live Here Love Here manager, said it was important to take steps now to clean up our environment.

She said: “The time is now for preventative steps to reduce, reuse and recycle the plastics we use.

“The Big Spring Clean is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the issues here in Northern Ireland and record our findings so that we can take steps to improve.

“It’s also great to get all the volunteers together to discuss the issues surrounding plastic litter and give our parks, forests and beaches a Big Spring Clean before the Easter Break so that people can enjoy the outdoors.

“We can all do just one thing and together make a difference.”

Volunteers can either organise their own clean-up or get involved in an existing event. Visit www.liveherelovehere.org/bigspringclean or contact enquiries@liveherelovehere.org