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Coast Care Awards 2016

Nicola Fitzsimons   Thu 20 Oct 2016

Volunteers who have gone the extra mile to clean up and look after our coastline, loughs and inland waterways have been recognised by environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful as part of the prestigious Live Here Love Here Coast Care Awards and Seminar event held at Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

David Small, Deputy Secretary of Environment, Marine and Fisheries Group and Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency presented the dedicated volunteers with their awards along with BBC’s Karen Patterson who hosted the event.

The Live Here Love Here Coast Care programme supports the work of volunteers who clean up beaches, rivers and loughs throughout Northern Ireland. With the continued support of Coca-Cola and Tourism Northern Ireland, the Coast Care Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding work of local people who are passionate about caring for Northern Ireland’s coastline, loughs and inland waterways and who carry out practical work in a bid to reduce the impact of litter and other environmental damage to preserve the natural beauty of these areas.

The day of awards and rewards even celebrated the beauty of Northern Ireland’s Coastline and Inland waterways through the Picture Perfect Award supported by Tourism Northern Ireland, this award captures our beautiful scenery through one single stunning photograph.

Speaking about the event, Environment Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “In Northern Ireland, we are proud to boast of some of the most stunning coastline in the world. Our long sandy beaches, prime fishing spots and waterways offer excellent recreational opportunities for the health and well-being of all. Thanks to many passionate volunteers these stunning areas are kept in pristine condition for local people and visitors to explore and enjoy.”

“The tireless efforts of the volunteers also have a huge impact on keeping these coastlines and waterways safe for the huge range of species that call them home. I am sure they will also inspire others to get involved in the Live Here Love Here campaign and help us create a cleaner, greener environment for everyone. They set a shining example to us all and make a vitally important contribution to our world,” the Minister added.

Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, said: “Our long-standing relationship with Coca-Cola enables us to reward the hard work, community spirit and sheer persistence of volunteers who regularly clean up our coast and inland waterways. At this event we take a little time to celebrate the achievements of passionate ‘can-do’ people to keep Northern Ireland’s shores, loughs, canals and rivers beautiful. Through their freely given time it is obvious they really do live here and love here. To everyone involved, your work is simply inspiring, well done and thank you.”

Gillian Shields, Community Affairs Manager, Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland said: “We are delighted to partner with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and support the Clean Coast and Coast Care programmes. These awards recognise and reward the tremendous contribution and practical action being taken by individual and groups across Northern Ireland in looking after our much treasured beaches and waterways. Congratulations to all the beach managers and local communities from around Northern Ireland on achieving these prestigious awards."

Louise Kearney, Director for HR & Organisational Development, Tourism NI, said; “Northern Ireland boasts some of the most spectacular coastline in Europe and this is one of our greatest tourism assets. Volunteers and community groups make a huge contribution to taking care of our coast and we are delighted that that these efforts are being recognised through the Coast Care Awards. Tourism NI is again proud to sponsor the Picture Perfect Award.”

List of Coca-Cola Coast Care Award Winners 2016

Award Winners:

• Coca-Cola Coast Care Group

National Trust Volunteers Portstewart Strand (Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council)

• Coca-Cola Inland Waterway Group

Glas-na-Bradan Conservation Association (Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council)

• Brighter Futures

Mourne Heritage Trust Youth Rangers (Newry, Mourne and Down District Council)

• Better Business Partnership

TESCO Antrim (Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council)

• Local Hero

Sebastian Graham (Mid Ulster Council)

• Picture Perfect (Tourism Northern Ireland)

Wilbert McIlmoyle (Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council)

• A Special Award for Inspiring Individual was presented to Eric Rainey (Ards and North Down Borough Council) for his commitment to the the Coast Care Programme.

Cavehill Clean Up

Nicola Fitzsimons   Thu 08 Sep 2016

On Friday 2nd September volunteers from A&L Goodbody teamed up with Live Here Love Here to help keep Cavehill Country Park Clean!

Fifteen volunteers left their desks and picked up their litter pickers to clean up one of Belfast’s most popular public parks. Despite the hard efforts of Belfast City Council staff and other volunteers who regularly maintain the site to keep it looking great there was evidence that the nasty litter lout had been about. Drinks bottles and dog poo bags were the most common items found and a single sock was one of the more peculiar items! It is sad to see this beautiful area littered by the rubbish visitors leave behind and spoiling the natural beauty of the country park.

Nicola Fitzsimons, Community Development Officer, Live Here Love Here said “It is unbelievable that people are prepared to carry their rubbish up Cavehill, but won’t carry it back down to put into a bin. I often wonder what tourists think of our beauty spots strewn with bottles, cans and plastic dog poo bags. I urge people to take your litter home or put into the nearest bin and stop treating our parks and mountains as dumping grounds.”

A&L Goodbody said, "We were delighted to be part of such a great initiative, our staff thoroughly enjoyed helping out and the beautiful surroundings of Cavehill Country Park made a very welcome change to the usual office desks!"

The clean up allowed the team of volunteers from A&L Goodbody to show their pride for their local surrounds and to work together to say they Live Here Love Here. If you would like to make a difference in your area whether it be big or small contact Live Here Love Here at enquiries@liveherelovehere.org or visit www.liveherelovehere.org

Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme

Nicola Fitzsimons   Fri 01 Jul 2016

The third year of the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme will help communities, schools and groups to take practical action to improve their local environment and support the growth of civic pride throughout Northern Ireland.

The environmental charity, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful will be working with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Tourism Northern Ireland, local Councils, Choice Housing and Coca-Cola to launch the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme.

The Small Grants Scheme is designed to help groups improve the quality of their local environment by reducing littering and dog fouling; enhancing the environmental management of a local area; contributing to the development of civic pride within a community with a focus on environmental improvements or to enhance or attract tourism to their community through environmental improvements. Interested groups can visit www.liveherelovehere.org for more information and an application pack.

The scheme forms part of the wider Live Here Love Here programme, which includes an innovative media campaign and exciting volunteering opportunities to encourage participation all year round. To learn more please visit www.liveherelovehere.org.

The Small Grants Scheme is open to volunteer groups operating in participating Council areas:

• Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council

• Ards and North Down Borough Council

• Belfast City Council

• Choice Housing (NI wide)

• Coca-Cola (NI wide)

• Derry City and Strabane District Council

• Fermanagh and Omagh District Council

• Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

• Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

This year we are pleased to announce that the Live Here Love Here partnership has grown to include Choice Housing Association and Coca-Cola. They will be providing additional funding to groups who are active either within housing association areas or coastal areas and inland waterways respectively.

Groups will need to complete a simple application form detailing how their project will improve their local environment or community through practical action. The deadline for applications is noon on Monday 1st August 2016.

Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, says: “These small grants support voluntary practical action where people want to grow a strong ‘can-do’ community spirit. It is exciting to see the grant scheme growing with the seven councils, DAERA and Tourism NI now joined by Choice Housing and Coca Cola. This simply means more money reaching the places and people whose ambition is to bring about positive change where they live.”

Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister, Michelle McIlveen, said: “I very much welcome community groups and local organisations getting involved in protecting and promoting their local environment. The more they participate, the more clean and green their neighbourhoods will be. It is fitting, therefore, that my department is supporting the highly successful “Live Here Love Here” campaign, now in its third year. By supporting the campaign my department is helping Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and local councils deliver clear tangible benefits for the local community through this excellent grant scheme.”

Michael McDonnell, Chief Executive of Choice Housing said: “Since launching in 2014, Live Here Love Here has supported groups to take small but important actions that have made a big difference in our communities. We all want cleaner streets, with less mess and graffiti, and more green spaces in our neighbourhoods. These grants give everyone a chance to improve their environment and the sense of pride in the places they live.

“Our partnership with the campaign is one of a series of investments that Choice is committing to this year and that enable people to secure tangible benefits and build stronger community spirit. We hope that our support will help amplify the campaign’s efforts to revitalise and reenergise neighbourhoods across Northern Ireland.”

Gillian Shields, Community Affairs Manager with Coca-Cola HBC NI said: “Having supported the Clean Coast Programme for over 9 years we are delighted to be merging the already existing Coca-Cola Coast Care Grant Scheme with the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme. It is my hope that with this funding a wealth of new projects will come into existence that will have a very real impact on the local community, and that’s something Coca-Cola are very happy to support.”

Andy Patterson at Tourism Northern Ireland, says: “A beautiful environment is part of the tourism fabric of Northern Ireland which our visitors greatly value. Last year’s small grants scheme enabled communities to take the lead in making positive changes in their neighbourhoods and deliver improvements around our coastline. We are delighted to support the Small Grants Scheme once again and we are confident that the projects which are enabled by this fund will add to the positive perceptions and profile of our destination by presenting a cleaner, greener Northern Ireland"

For more information on the live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme please visit www.liveherelovehere.org or contact Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful on 028 9073 6920.

The Clean Coast programme saw more than 4,600 volunteers, in 210 community groups, collect a staggering 28 tonnes of litter from the marine environment in Northern Ireland throughout 2015.

Coca-Cola Clean Coast Week 2016, which runs from 6th – 15th May, is now calling for new recruits across Northern Ireland to get involved in the numerous events and clean-ups taking place along coasts, beaches, rivers and loughs around the province throughout the week.

A joint initiative between Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Coca-Cola, the theme of the 2016 awareness week is ‘Enjoy Your Beach, Enjoy Your Beach Clean’. This year’s campaign will run in partnership with An Taisce in the Republic of Ireland and there are a range of cross boarder activities planned including clean up events along Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough and the opportunity for volunteers to travel to Wexford to carry out a special beach clean ahead of a seal release!

The United Nation Environmental Programme (UNEP) estimates that 8 million individual litter items enter the marine environment every day. Marine litter includes a range of materials which have been deliberately discarded, or accidentally lost on shore or at sea. It includes materials that are carried out to sea from land, rivers, drainage, sewerage systems and even by the wind.

The Clean Coast programme supports communities who are passionate about caring for Northern Ireland’s coastline and inland waterways, and Coca-Cola Clean Coast Week 2016 will see a range of fun and informative events with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of keeping these important natural resources free from litter. Volunteers across Northern Ireland will demonstrate the ethos of “Live Here Love Here” by organising practical clean-ups to reduce the impact of litter on the marine environment.

Coastal celebrations through the week will range from beach fitness activities in Portballintrae incorporating clean-ups, to a ‘balsam bashing’ event at Lagan Valley Regional Park, to halt the spread of the invasive plant. The Coca-Cola Coast Care Awards and annual photography competition will also launch as part of the celebrations.

Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said, “The Coca Cola Coast Care programme is making waves with clean-ups removing tonnes of litter from our beautiful coastline. Litter in the sea is a floating time bomb, just waiting to choke marine mammals, turtles and birds. So every piece removed helps save a life. Of course Coast Care volunteers would rather be doing something more constructive than picking up other people’s litter but the mad people are those who don’t put their litter in the bin in the first place.”

2016 sees the 9th year of Coca-Cola’s support of the initiative and Gillian Shields, Community Investment Manager for Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland said, “We are delighted to once again partner with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, encouraging local communities to come together in celebration of the wonderful natural resource that is our extensive coastline.

“As a global company, Coca-Cola has proud sustainability credentials and it is a source of great pride for us that Coca-Cola HBC recently topped the Dow Jones World and Europe Sustainability Indices in the beverage category for a 2nd consecutive year. Our local business makes an important contribution to these results, with ambitious 2020 targets to reduce our impact on the environment, focussing on water, waste and energy usage. We are pleased that we are on track to deliver against our commitments, with some already achieved ahead of schedule.

“Our partnership with Clean Coast is a further demonstration of our commitment to sustainability, and I would like to take the opportunity to encourage all community groups across the country to get involved in their local events and clean-ups, supporting the important goal of keeping our marine environment litter-free.”

For a full schedule of events please visit www.liveherelovehere.org. All Clean Coast Week activities added to the Live Here Love Here website will also contribute to Clean Europe Week as part of this annual Europe-wide clean-up event.

If you would like to make a difference in your area whether it be coastal or an inland waterway then you can get involved by getting in touch with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful by or emailing nicola.murray@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org . Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful will be able to support your clean ups with equipment and other means of assistance and you may even be nominated for a prestigious award when the summer is over!

Live Here Love Here March Newsletter

Nicola Fitzsimons   Fri 08 Apr 2016

Please take a few moments to enjoy our March 2016 Newsletter full of project updates, news and competitions.

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Live Here Love Here March Newsletter

Get involved in Rea’s Wood Clean Up!

Nicola Fitzsimons   Fri 08 Apr 2016

Back in February it came to light that Rea’s Wood, on the shores of Lough Neagh, was severely littered after the harsh winter storms. Since then many volunteers contacted Live Here Love Here, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, the Forestry Service and the Lough Neagh Partnership to offer their support. We had to ensure the water levels had receded and that any dangerous debris was removed from the paths before we could call on the public to come and get involved.

Join us at Antrim Lough Shore Park on Saturday 23rd April at 10.30am, shuttle transport will be provided.

Volunteers will be joined by staff and team members from Forestry Service, Live Here Love Here, NIEA, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Six Mile Water Trust, Lough Neagh Partnership and Tesco Antrim Volunteers must register with Nicola Murray at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful nicola.murray@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org or call

02890736920.

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful are calling for community groups, schools, businesses and individuals across Northern Ireland to show that they Live Here and they Love Here by getting involved in the Big Spring Clean.

Litter can blight our towns, villages, beaches, roadsides and countryside and make us feel a little less than proud of our beautiful surrounds. In April Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful will call for everybody to say, ‘Live Here Love Here’ and will be working in partnership with local councils, Department for the Environment and Tourism Northern Ireland to support clean ups throughout Northern Ireland.

Big Spring Clean now forms part of the wider Live Here Love Here campaign which educates and empowers communities to take action and do the right thing to tackle litter and create a sense of community pride throughout the province.

People power is an amazing thing – during last year’s Big Spring Clean over 89,506 people participated in cleaning up their local area and removing over 107 tonnes of litter ensuring that we Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said “Litter is a blot on our landscape that threatens the clean, green credentials for which the Emerald Isle is known. This is our home and we should take pride in it. I am calling for as many volunteers as possible to join the Big Spring Clean – let’s work together to make it a clean sweep and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.”

Ian Humphreys, CEO of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful added, “Last year one in every 20 people in Northern Ireland took part in a clean-up during The BIG Spring Clean. That’s up from just 2,500 individuals back in 2010. Why? Because we all want a better place to live, and this is a great opportunity to do something positive about it. Join us and help reduce the £40,000,000 a year street cleaning bill for ratepayers.”

Throughout April we are calling for your support once again, to find out more information and to register your Big Spring Clean online please visit www.liveherelovehere.org and we will send you a FREE clean up kit to help with your event.

Kilroot Beach Clean II: ‘The Revenge

Nicola Fitzsimons   Wed 24 Feb 2016

On Thursday 18th February the Live Here Love Here team joined forces with Ulster Wildlife to take a second attempt to clean up the beach at Kilroot Power Station. Thanks to Katy Bell, Ulster Wildlife - AES Biodiversity Intern for organising the great event and for putting together this article:

After clearing 52 bags of rubbish from the shoreline beside Kilroot Power Station last November I knew we could go back and get more.

With the help of Ulster Wildlife’s Living Seas Team, AES Staff, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful; we made up a team of 16 eager people willing to battle the rubbish before the tide came in.

Marine litter doesn’t only look bad but it can also be devastating to wildlife.

Dave Wall, Living Seas Officer with Ulster Wildlife said, "Marine Litter, particularly plastic waste is present in large quantities throughout the marine environment. It has direct conservation impacts such as choking marine mammals, marine reptiles and seabirds who mistake it for food. Marine plastics also have potentially far more sinister impacts as they break down into micro-plastics which are ingested by plankton and small fish and work their way up through every link in the marine food chain. The long-term effects of these micro plastics is as yet unknown but they are known to bind with toxins and pollutants which are also carried into the marine food chain with potential impacts on animal reproduction, body health and survival. Marine plastics are not biodegradable and will last for centuries in the oceans, so every single beach clean will help save wildlife for years to come.”

Maurice Turley, Biodiversity Officer for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, provided us with litter pickers, bags and gloves and arranged for the bagged litter to be collected. Everyone quickly got stuck in and it felt like this time we could see our work paying off.

We were on the beach for about two hours and a huge pile of bags was forming. We transported all the rubbish to the front gate where Mid and East Antrim Borough Council workers loaded it onto a truck for safe disposal. We counted 64 bags in total, along with 3 gas canisters, 2 tyres and an office chair!

It is amazing to think that those 116 bags of rubbish would still be on that beach without everyone’s hard work. We will back in April for Kilroot Beach Clean III!

Remember that everything you discard has to end up somewhere. It is our duty as a society to reduce the amount of waste we produce, reuse whatever we can, and recycle as much of our waste as possible. The rest of our waste needs to be disposed of safely, where it will not end up blowing off the land or washing down river into the seas.

Thanks to Dave, Tori, James, Orlagh, Maurice, George, Alex, Neil, Maureen, Pearl, Maurice, Nicola, Peter, Rachel and Nicholas for coming out to help, and to the staff of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for collecting our efforts for disposal.

visit www.ulsterwildlife.org to learn more about what Ulster Wildlife do.

Live Here Love Here January Newsletter

Nicola Fitzsimons   Fri 19 Feb 2016

Please take a few moments to enjoy our January 2016 Newsletter full of project updates, news and competitions.

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Live Here Love Here January Newsletter

Combating Litter in Your Community

Nicola Fitzsimons   Wed 17 Feb 2016

Want to Combat Litter in Your Community?

Do you live in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area? Is there an area in your community plagued by litter? Are you fed up with dog mess on your doorstep? Why not take pride in your area and join forces with Live Here Love Here to Combat Litter in Your Community!

Derry City and Strabane District Council together with Live Here Love Here would like to give your community the opportunity to introduce some exciting and innovative methods in a bid to reduce litter and dog fouling in areas that you live in and that you love.

Through the Combating Litter in Your Community Project we aim to recruit some forward thinking community groups, volunteers, schools and businesses who would like to try out some innovative litter combating methods in their local community. Your group will be provided with all the equipment, information and support needed to implement the project.

Participating groups can also apply for additional funding of up to £500 to further address the issue of litter and dog fouling in your community.

Dr Ian Humphreys, CEO of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful is delighted to be working with the Council on this project and keen to see groups grabbing this exciting opportunity, saying “these simple methods really can help people to do the right thing, whether that’s putting their litter in the bin or clearing up after their dog. And for starters the result is a street you can proudly walk along without watching where you step or what you step in.”

A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council said, “We look forward to working with both local communities and the Live Here Love Here team to develop long term practical solutions to local environmental problems by changing individual’s behaviours and attitudes in relation to litter and dog fouling.”

The Live Here Love Here Combating Litter in Your Community Project forms part of a wider programme aimed at promoting civic pride and a community can-do attitude by improving environmental quality in Northern Ireland.

Live Here Love Here is a partnership between Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, the Department of the Environment, Tourism Northern Ireland and participating local Councils.

To apply groups will need to complete a simple application form that can be downloaded below, the deadline for applications is noon on 7th March 2016.

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Combating Litter in Your Community Project Options