Mid Ulster District Council is appealing to users of its parks and open spaces to help keep the sites clean and tidy by taking their rubbish home.
Mid Ulster parks and open spaces remained open for recreational purposes during the COVID-19 pandemic and the enforced lockdown. Now that restrictions are being relaxed, visitor numbers to the sites have increased significantly and in turn so has the litter left behind.
The Council is encouraging users to play their part and to take their rubbish home after their visit. Small signs reminding users to do so have been fixed to the picnic tables at each site.
Litter left behind at the sites is unsightly, turning these beauty spots into eyesores and harming the natural environment. It can also attract vermin. Cleaning up the litter is putting undue pressure on already stretched council resources.
Chair of the Council’s Environment Committee, Councillor Sean McGuigan said,
We are very fortunate in Mid Ulster to have so many beautiful parks and open spaces right on our doorsteps. During the worst stages of the COVID-19 crisis and even more so now when restrictions are being relaxed, our parks were, and continue to be, a constant comfort and support to many residents who flocked there for recreation and relaxation purposes. This is fabulous to see, we want our sites to be utilised and enjoyed by residents and the benefits of absorbing Vitamin D have been well documented throughout the pandemic. Unfortunately, though it is not all positive. The actions of a few risk spoiling the experience of our scenic sites for many. Litter is being left behind, either overflowing from bins or discarded on the ground making sites unappealing and unsightly. This is putting unnecessary pressure on council staff who have to clean the sites when their valuable time could be spent helping with the delivery of other key and essential services. All we are asking of users is that they help keep the sites free from litter and take their rubbish home. The small signs we have fixed to the tables at each site will act as very timely reminders to do so and we hope users take notice and play their part.