Ballynamona Strand on the East Cork coastline is internationally renowned for a long list of bird life including Shrikes, Larks, Citrine Wagtails, Sandpipers, Pipits, American Coot and Red-necked Stint. There is a new sight to be seen there, writes Tom MacSweeney and it is ensuring that the strand remains a welcoming place for wildlife, seabirds, marine life and for the general public. Regrettably, visitors of the human kind leave litter behind, disregarding the marine environment and despoiling the area.
The local community has responded leading to the new sight on the beach - a quad bike and trailer - showing community dedication to the preservation of a clean maritime environment. It’s the work of the group known as ‘Clean Coasts Ballynamona.’ “Truly an excellent example of what can be achieved when business and community work together,” said Proinsias Ó Tuama, one of the leaders of ‘Clean Coasts’ ‘and a teacher at St.Colman’s Community College, Midleton, where students are also involved in the protection of local beaches. Business and community interests raised €16,000 for a quad bike and trailer to remove beach litter. “It shows how local people are concerned for their maritime environment.”
The Ballynamona group has twice been An Taisce ‘Ocean Hero’ national award winners and has been using the equipment to maintain over 30kms. of coastline by removing marine litter from Ballybranagan to Ballymacoda in East Cork. Five tonnes of rubbish was taken from Ballybranagan beach with the help of the Transition Year students.