The Pure Mile, an environmental competition which aims to create a greater awareness of the countryside of Wicklow and South Dublin, had its annual awards night on Tuesday 16th of October at The Brooklodge Hotel, Macreddin, Aughrim.
The Pure Mile Competition encourages groups in Wicklow and South Dublin to adopt a mile of road in their local area and keep it free from litter, which benefits both, the people who live in these areas, and their environment. The awards and certificates were presented by Mr. Andrew Doyle, T.D., Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Frank Curran, CEO of Wicklow County Council and the Cathaoirleach for Wicklow County Council, Cllr. Pat Vance.
2018 was the night year of the Pure Mile competition, and this year over 50 communities, groups, scouts, beavers, primary schools, walking groups, cycling groups, businesses and organisations, collectively improved and enhanced over 220 miles of road, mountains, valleys, forestries, woodlands, upland amenities, and beaches, with the removal of tonnes of illegal dumping and litter from the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands.
The groups ranged from all over Wicklow and South Dublin, and each one received a Pure Mile Certificate and a selection of native Irish trees, and all will be included in the popular Pure Mile Calendar, which will be launched in November.
The Pure Mile is the perfect opportunity for communities and groups who want to make a positive contribution to their locality and environment. It assists people to improve and enhance the place they live in, or recreate in, and the awards night enables groups to meet people with similar interests.
Ian Davis, Pure Project Manager commented on the night;
‘The Pure Mile gets bigger and bigger every year, and this year was the largest number of areas involved in the competition. All the groups deserve a huge amount of credit for improving and enhancing the areas they both live and recreate in, with groups removing approximately 3,000 bags of rubbish from the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands. I would like to congratulate all of the groups involved in this years competition, and I look forward to working with more groups in 2019 Pure Mile.’
There were 13 awards presented on the night with cash prizes reaching a total of €5,000.
The Best Pure Mile Award, and a cheque for €1,000, was presented to The Baltynanima Pure Mile Group. The community produced a beautiful local heritage booklet outlining the numerous cultural and social heritage features of the area, the local flora and fauna, and also created a website for their area. The award acknowledged the groups interpretative methods relating to their cultural and natural heritage, including, a number of informational panels along their 4-mile looped walk. Members of the winning group were delighted with their Best Pure Mile Award, and commented that;
‘The Baltynanima Pure Mile group are delighted with our win. The residents did Trojan work over a three mile stretch of road but it was really enjoyable. As well as improving the area in which we live it gave us the opportunity to meet and chat to the neighbours rather than just waving at them as we pass each other in our cars. We got great support from local businesses and from the wider community of Roundwood and beyond. They imparted their expert knowledge at our various events or came out in number to attend them. The Pure Mile is a fantastic initiative which we would recommend to anyone, you just need someone to get the ball rolling, the enthusiasm is infectious and the rest will follow.’
The Best Cultural Heritage Award and a cheque for €300 was presented to the Glen Heste Pure Mile, with the Best Natural Heritage Award going to The Avoca Scouts/Beavers Group for their work on creating environmental awareness on the local Avoca area. The Best Education Award was presented to Brittas Bay National School, with Best Community Effort Award going to Snugborough Pure Mile in Donard.
A number of groups involved in the Clean-Up the Uplands category received Highly Commended Awards. Two Dublin based walking groups, Atha Cliath Uplands Team, and the Glencree Walking Group, as well as the West Wicklow cycling group, Reservoir Cogs, were all commended for the clean-up days they organised in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands. The overall award for Best Clean-up the Uplands was presented to Vagabond Tours.
The Award for The Best Anti-Dumping Initiative and a cheque for €500, went to the 12 miles of road that were adopted by the Stratford On Slaney Pure Mile, with two Highly Commended Anti-Dumping Awards going to the Ballyteige, Ballinatombay, Ballinabarney Pure Mile, and the Rednagh Annacurra Pure Mile group.
The 18 Pure Miles of Grange Con were presented with The Best Litter Free Award and received a cheque of €500, with Ballydowling and Ballysheeman Pure Miles receiving a Highly Commended Litter Free Award.
Andrew Doyle TD, Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture commented;
‘It gave me great pleasure to be at the Presentation of the Pure Mile Awards in the Brooklodge Hotel. I would like to pay tribute to all the stakeholders involved in this extremely valuable community project which helps raise awareness about illegal dumping, and the impact of illegal dumping on our environment. The Pure Mile Awards have grown from strength to strength over the years and great credit is due to all the participants involved, whose hard work, pride in their community, help to enhance and improve our environment, our sense of pride in our community and our heritage.’
The awards night was also the official launch of the 2019 Pure Mile Competition, and again Pure are inviting all groups and communities living in rural areas of county Wicklow and South Dublin to take part in the 2019 Pure Mile Competition. Pure are again encouraging special interest groups, scout groups, cycling groups, running groups, walking groups, businesses and organisations, to adopt a mile of road, a woodland, an upland car park, a mountain, or a trail, in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands and take part in the Clean-Up The Uplands category. Pure supply all groups with bags, litter pickers, gloves and high-vis jackets, and the Pure Truck removes all of rubbish gathered by groups.
Anyone interested in the 2019 Pure Mile competition can request an application form and information pack by emailing email@example.com or it can be downloaded from www.pureproject.ie/the-pure-mile/. You can also write to; Pure Project, Wicklow Mountains, National Park, Kilafin, Laragh, Bray, Co. Wicklow, A98 K286, and they will post out all the information or request an application form and information pack by phoning Pure on 0404 45547.
Further information on Pure can be found on www.pureproject.ie
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