Avoca River deemed ‘lit­tered’ in lat­est IBAL sur­vey

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

A new sur­vey has found that parts of Wick­low’s coast­line and beaches have seen no im­prove­ments in the level of lit­ter­ing.

The Avoca River in Ark­low was rated as ‘lit­tered’ in the sur­vey con­ducted for the busi­ness group, Ir­ish Busi­ness Against Lit­ter (IBAL). The re­sult is the same as last year and puts Ark­low near the bot­tom of the list of 42 ar­eas na­tion­wide.

Brit­tas Bay and the Dar­gle River in Bray were found to be ‘mod­er­ately lit­tered’ in the as­sess­ment of coastal ar­eas and wa­ter­ways car­ried out by the En­vi­ron­men­tal Education Unit of An Taisce.

In re­la­tion to the Avoca River in Ark­low, the sur­round­ing roads were as­sessed to be ‘gen­er­ally good’ with the beach area de­scribed as ‘mod­er­ately lit­tered.’ How­ever, the quay and har­bour ‘re­ally brought down the over­all lit­ter grade.’

The bins on the South Quay were found to be ‘ex­posed to wind and seag­ulls [were] pick­ing at rub­bish... re­sult­ing in items of rub­bish on ground sur­round­ing the bins.’

The re­port also noted that lit­ter in­cluded dis­carded fish­ing nets, plas­tic mat­ting and tyres. It added that ‘a poor im­pres­sion was cre­ated be­hind some fenc­ing where heavy lev­els of a wide va­ri­ety had ac­cu­mu­lated.’ The re­port also raised con­cerns about the level of dog foul­ing in the area.

The Ark­low har­bour area is man­aged of Wick­low County Coun­cil.

Speak­ing to the Wick­low Peo­ple, Cllr Pat Fitzger­ald, Cathaoir­leach of Ark­low Mu­nic­i­pal District said, ‘It is dis­ap­point­ing as there has been a great ef­fort to keep these ar­eas clean. There has been much work done by groups such as the Tidy Towns and mu­nic­i­pal district staff. Lessons need to be learnt from the re­sults.’

‘We are happy that the ar­eas we con­cen­trate on like the River­walk were found to be good,’ said San­dra Hall, Su­per­vi­sor of Ark­low Tidy Towns. ‘How­ever, the re­sults are very dis­ap­point­ing. We are hop­ing that more will be done in fu­ture to im­prove the tidi­ness of the har­bour area.’

Mean­while, large parts of Brit­tas Bay were said to be in ‘good or­der with re­gard to lit­ter’ but is­sues were ob­served at the South Beach. Lit­ter in­cluded cig­a­rette butts, cloth­ing, toys, horse ma­nure and wet wipes. The re­port also high­lighted that one of the ‘Do Not Lit­ter’ signs was ‘al­most il­leg­i­ble.’

The River Dar­gle area was de­scribed as ‘very much a mixed site in terms of lit­ter.’ The har­bour was found to be ‘not too bad’. How­ever, the as­ses­sors said, ‘it was very dis­ap­point­ing to see the beau­ti­fully land­scaped river­walk area so ca­su­ally treated.’ The re­port noted food and al­co­hol-re­lated lit­ter ‘had been dis­carded with reck­less aban­don - on the ground, seat­ing area and within the planted ar­eas. With a gust of wind much of this could end up in the wa­ter.’

Com­ment­ing on the sur­vey, a spokesper­son for Bray Tidy Towns (BTT) said they ‘re­gret the com­ments made in the sur­vey about the river walk.

‘How­ever, there are changes planned which may help re­duce the lit­ter in this area. BTT are aware that Bray Mu­nic­i­pal District have plans to erect a ‘Belly Bin’ at the town end of this walk. While, a lot of lit­ter pick­ing and weed­ing work has been car­ried out by vol­un­teers from BTT, Dar­gle Area Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion and Bray Coast­care. We are look­ing for­ward to the open­ing of the un­der­pass link­ing this river walk by foot­path and cy­cle path to the har­bour as it will in­crease pedes­trian traf­fic.

‘This will elim­i­nate the dead-end na­ture of the walk and bring a height­ened public aware­ness and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of this well laid out amenity,’ they added.

Wick­low County Coun­cil had yet to re­spond to queries from the Wick­low Peo­ple at the time of go­ing to press.

Ark­low Har­bour.

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