4,000 bags of rubbish removed from uplands
Some of the bags of rubbish collected from the Dublin uplands (Image: Pure Project)

4,000 bags of rubbish removed from uplands

MORE than 4,000 bags filled with rubbish and illegal dumping was removed from the Wicklow/Dublin uplands in 2021, following the organisation of over 2,000 litter-picks and clean-ups.

The rubbish was collected by groups engaged with the Pure Mile environmental programme, an initiative of the Pure Project that encourages rural communities in South Dublin, Wicklow and Dun Laoghaire to adopt a mile of road in their local area.

Now in its 12th year, the Pure Mile has over 200 communities, groups, schools, business and cycling, running and walking clubs collectively improving the Wicklow/Dublin uplands – including the Glenasmole, Cunard, Glassamucky, Castle Kelly, Ballymorefinn and Piperstown roads.

According to Ian Davis, Pure Project Manager, Covid-19 restrictions impacted on large-scale clean-ups of the South Dublin uplands.

However, volunteers from the Cunard/Glenasmole Pure Mile concentrated their efforts on organising regular individual and family unit litter picks of their local roads.

As restrictions eased, other Pure Mile groups organised litter picks and clean-ups of the Dublin uplands removing considerable amounts of litter and dumped waste from areas including Military Road, Ballybetagh Road, Glencullen and Kilakee Car Park to Cruagh Road.

Pure Mile volunteers during a clean-up (Image: Pure Project)

“The South Dublin Uplands is a unique landscape and environment, attracting thousands of visitors annually,” Ian said.

“Much of the area is of both Irish and European significance and protected under the European Habitats Directive as a Special Area of Conservation, and now part of the Wicklow Mountains National Park.”

He added: “The Pure Mile has grown every year and we now have thousands of volunteers involved in the project.

“Over the years the Pure Mile Volunteers have removed tonnes of litter and illegal dumping from upland roads, verges, hedges, and drains, and they have made a huge difference to the areas they live in, or recreate in.”

Due to Covid-19, the annual Pure Mile Gala evening has been cancelled.

However, Pure will celebrate the ‘hardwork and achievements’ of all volunteers with a Pure Mile Certificates of Participation and Recognition.

According to Ian, illegal dumping is not unique to the Wicklow/Dublin uplands however, while most regions are reporting an increase, the Pure Project is seeing a decrease.

The environmental project has been recording and mapping every location and incident of illegal dumping in the Wicklow/Dublin uplands since 2007,building up a base of illegal dumping activity in the area.

Pure is encouraging South Dublin-based walking, cycling and running groups, schools, scouts, businesses, organisations, anyone who wants to get involved, to adopt an area in the South Dublin Uplands and get involved in Pure Mile 2022.

Contact Pure on info@pureproject.ie or download an application form on the Pure Project website HERE.

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