Volunteers go the extra mile
THE eighth PURE Mile Awards took place in The Brooklodge Hotel, Aughrim, last week highlighting more than 50 communities efforts to enhance over 150 miles of road in Co Wicklow.
The awards and certificates were presented by Minister Simon Harris and the Cathaoirleach for Wicklow County Council, Cllr Edward Timmins.
Each year communities are encouraged to adopt a mile of road and keep it free from litter. This year over 2,000 bags of rubbish were removed by different groups entered into the competition.
Speaking on the night, Ian Davis, PURE Project Manager, said it was the largest number of roads the competition has ever had.
‘All of the groups deserve credit for improving and enhancing the areas they both live and recreate in. It always amazes me the amount of commitment and dedication these groups have to cleaning up the Wicklow Uplands and I congratulate all of the groups involved in this years competition, and look forward to working with more groups in 2018,’ said Mr Davis.
Each group received a PURE Mile Certificate and a selection of native trees at the awards ceremony, while the winners will be included in the PURE Mile Calendar, which will be launched in November.
The Best PURE Mile Award was presented to The Ballyteige-Ballintombay PURE Mile. The community produced an information leaflet detailing the local flora and fauna of the area, a route guide outlining the cultural/social heritage of the surrounding landscape and also created an amazing an informative website and blog. Best Cultural Heritage Award was presented to Golden Hill and Three Castles PURE Miles. This joint award was presented to the groups for their research into the field names of the area, old vernacular farm houses, archaeological monuments, and the many other cultural heritage features associated with their two miles.
The pupils, parents and teachers, of Brittas Bay National School received the Amazing Educators KABOOOM Award for their presentation on their local history, providing a valuable insight into Brittas Bay’s infamous pirate resident of the past, known locally as Jack White. Lough Dan Scouts collected the Best Education Award for organising a wide variety of eco-activities.
Baltynanima, Roundwood, collected the accolade for Best PURE Mile Interpretation, thanks to the number of information panels along their two-mile looped walk, a website, and a local heritage booklet. The Clean-Up the Uplands Award was won by the walking group who removed over 150 bags of rubbish in a one-day upland clean-up, starting at Kilakee car park in south Dublin and finishing at the Sally Gap. Joe McNamara, a member of the walking group, said: ‘Our group regularly walk in Wicklow/Dublin Uplands and we were appalled by the amount of litter dumped in the area, which is mainly thrown out of cars.
‘Working with PURE, and by adopting this stretch of road, and doing this clean-up, is our way of keeping the uplands pure and clean, the way it should be.’
The numerous Grangecon PURE Miles were acknowledged for Best Community Effort. The community initially started with one road and then expanded to include all the approaching roads leading to the village. The Highly Commended Community Effort was presented to Donard Fauna Road and Kibaylet Road PURE Miles.
The award for Individual Contribution to the PURE Mile Competition went to Steven Brennan from Brittas Bay PURE Mile, who has entered into the competition for the past six years running. The Highly Commended Clean-Up the Uplands Award went to The Stone Cross to Kippure Pure Miles.
The Beech Road, Millennium Road, Love Lane and Avoca Kilmagig PURE Miles won The Best Litter Free Award.
Finally, the Winning Back the Valley Award went to the townlands of Cullentragh Park, Bolenaskea, Baravore from The Glenmalure Valley.
The Grangecon group at the PURE Mile Awards in the BrookLodge, Macreddin.
Tom Grace, Marie Clarke and Peter Plant from The Castles, Manor Kilbride.
Fionnuala O’Reilly, Peter McDonald, Anne Hogan and Susan McFarlane from Glenealy.
Cllr Edward Timmins with Martin McAndrew, Bernie Ivers and Liam Murphy from the AvocaBeech Road PURE Mile.
The group from Scoil Realt na Mara, Brittas Bay, at the awards night.
Mick Cullen from Raheen-Rampere, Baltinglass, with Eilish Fisher, Rita McMullen, Lorraine Marrey and Jane Clarke from Ballinabarney-Ballyteigue-Ballintombay.
The group from Glen
Mike Cummins, Mary Brett Kelly and Sean Kavanagh from Donard.
atives from Baltynanima PURE Mile in Roundwood at the awards last week.
nmalure PURE Mile with Cllr Pat Kennedy.
Donie Anderson, Sean Lee, Pat Lee and Myles Murphy from the Hill Road PURE Mile, Glenasmole.
Molly O’Rourke, Nuala Lancaster and Julie Wolohan from Ballycoog PURE Mile.
Brian Dunne, Tom Byrne from Wicklow Uplands Council and Wesley Atkinson from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Aidan and Christina Cruise and Ita Donohoe from Golden Hill, Manor Kilbride, with Ian Davis from PURE.