Murlough is cared for as Ireland's first nature reserve since 1967, the fragile 6000 year old sand dune system offers some lovely walks. Due to the reserves wild nature you can discover birds, flowers, butterflies and more, all overlooked by the rounded peaks of the Mourne Mountains to the south.
After a couple of sunny weeks, Murlough NNR and the County Down council beach alongside it were looking a little worse for ware. Due to our litterbug culture, the clean-up operation was going to be big. That was despite the staff and volunteers at Murlough having worked tirelessly every day at litter picking both the reserve and council beach, and regularly changing the large bins we had installed for the few good weeks of summer. It is especially important to keep the beach clean, so that we can ensure the council can keep their blue flag status.
We had a number of staff and volunteers from Castle Ward, and a group on a working holiday join us for the morning. 30 people all in all. After a quick photo shoot for the Mourne Observer, we were away on our litter picking adventure.
It is quite incredible what people are willing to leave on the beach! As well as the usual crisp packets and drinks bottles, there are beach towles, beach mats, and even clothing and shoes...... The Murlough volunteers have over the last week gained an entire collection of beach buckets, spades and inflatables. Who needs to get paid with these kind of perks to the job!