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County Down beaches go green - in a good way!

Christine Cahoon   Thu 25 Jun 2015   updated: Tue 20 Oct 2015

Five beaches along the East coast of Northern Ireland have received awards for their environmental management.

Newcastle, Murlough, Tyrella Beach, Cranfield West and Helen’s Bay and received their awards at Helen’s Bay in Crawfordsburn Country Park on 25th June, joining 30 beaches in Wales and 58 in the Republic of Ireland who have also received the award.

Rubbish along shore

Cloughey beach on the Ards Peninsula received a pilot Award while Ards and North Down Borough Council completes the adoption of the beach and Warren.

The Green Coast Awards are supported by Coca-Cola and are part of a wider eco-management and volunteering programme run by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. The aim of the Award is to recognise beaches for their high environmental quality.

To achieve the award, beaches must have excellent water quality and have effective and appropriate management which ensures the protection of the natural environment.

Chris Allen, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s Local Environmental Quality Manager said, “These beaches are exceptional places to visit for their unspoilt natural beauty. They may not all have the infrastructure or facilities available on our Blue Flag beaches, but that is no criticism: These beaches are all clean, safe and environmentally friendly, and we should be proud that we have these natural gems on our doorstep.”

Gillian Shields, Community Investment Manager with Coca-Cola, said, “We are proud to support the Green Coast Awards and Clean Coasts Programme.

As a local company we have been investing in community projects for some 75 years and are proud to partner with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, an organisation that is committed to protecting our local environment and championing environmental change for coastlines throughout Northern Ireland.”

Green Coast Award beaches generally have strong community involvement, with local people given the opportunity to take part in the management process; everything from helping to keep it free of litter through to having a say in development decisions.

If you would like to help make a difference in your area whether it be a coastal or an inland waterway then you can get involved by getting in touch with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful by ringing 02890 736 920 or emailing Nicola.Murray@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org. Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful may be able to support your events such as local clean-ups with equipment and other means of assistance and you may even be nominated for a Coast Care Award at the end of the summer!

1 comment

Christine Cahoon   Thu 30 Jul 2015   updated: Tue 20 Oct 2015

Correction on 30 July 2015:

The original posting of this story stated that Minerstown beach had received a Green Coast award. We incorrectly recorded that an award had been made when in fact the beach operator, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, did not make an application for this beach for 2015.