AES Makes Clean Sweep of Antrim Beach

Team 5

Volunteers from AES UK & Ireland joined together with Ulster Wildlife, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Mid & East Antrim Council to carry out a clean sweep of an Antrim beach on a cold November day.

Volunteers carried out a beach clean on the shoreline between Kilroot Power Station and Andrew Jackson Cottage.

Last month AES UK & Ireland’s full time Biodiversity Officer, Katy Bell, surveyed the shoreline at the popular spot and found a dense carpet of rubbish washed up on the shores of Belfast Lough by the current.Kilroot rubbish 1

Tidying the beach up was identified as a priority for members of Ballylumford and Kilroot Power Stations’ Green Teams, the company’s environmental champions.

Wrapped up in warm clothes and wellie boots, volunteers collected 51 bags of rubbish from the beach including plastic bottles, household waste and fishing gear.

Mid & East Anrim Council provided volunteers with bags, litter pickers and gloves, and took away the rubbish for proper disposal.

Katy Bell of AES UK & Ireland organised the event. She said “Improving lives in the communities near our plants is at the core of AES’ work. Andrew Jackson Cottage is an important tourist attraction, and we wanted to improve the experience of walking along the beach for residents and visitors. Our people were happy to put aside a few hours in the cold to clean up the beach we live and work beside.”George and Bob

Dave Wall, Living Seas Officer with Ulster Wildlife said, “Marine litter, from string to oil to plastics, is a huge threat to our seas, killing at least a million birds and hundreds of thousands of marine mammals and turtles every year. Much marine litter is not biodegradeable and will last for centuries, so every local beach clean helps save wildlife for years to come.”

Throughout 2015 AES and Ulster Wildlife are celebrating ten years of partnership protecting and enhancing biodiversity.