The Pure Mile, an environmental initiative which aims to create a greater awareness of the countryside of Wicklow and South Dublin, had its annual Gala Evening on Wednesday 16th of October at The Brooklodge Hotel, Macreddin, Aughrim.
The Pure Mile Project encourages groups in Wicklow and South Dublin to adopt a mile of road, or miles of road, in their local area, or in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands and organise litter picks, clean-ups, and anti-dumping campaigns. The Gala Evening is an opportunity for all of the Pure Mile Groups to meet for one night, in one room, and celebrate all of their hard work and achievements in Cleaning Up The Wicklow/Dublin Uplands, and for Pure to thank them all.
Over 100 certificates of participation were presented by Mr. Andrew Doyle, T.D., Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, and the Cathaoirleach for Wicklow County Council, Cllr. Irene Winters.
2019 was the tenth year of the Pure Mile, and this year over 100 communities, groups, scouts, beavers, primary schools, walking groups, cycling groups, businesses and organisations, collectively improved and enhanced over 550 miles of roads, mountains, valleys, forestries, woodlands, and upland amenities, 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, a selection of native Irish trees, and all will be included in the popular Pure Mile Calendar, which will be launched in November.
Ian Davis, Pure Project Manager commented on the night,
‘The Pure Mile has grown every year and in 2019 we had over 2,500 volunteers involved in the project. We had some major clean-ups this year which resulted in the removal of over 4,000 bags of rubbish and illegal dumping from the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands. It’s amazing the amount of time, effort, and enthusiasm that groups invest in the Pure Mile. All of the people involved in the Pure Mile make a huge difference to the areas they live in or recreate in, and it’s an absolute pleasure meeting them, and getting to know them.’
There were a number of Certificates of Recognition presented on the night with cash prizes reaching a total of €5,500.
Andrew Doyle TD, Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture commented on the night;
‘It gives me great pleasure to attend the 10th Annual Pure Mile Gala Evening night in Brooklodge Hotel. The Pure Mile concept has developed into a very important community initiative which focusses on the environment and has grown extensively since its beginning in 2009. Once again I commend the very hard-working team whose ongoing commitment and energy has led to the success of the Pure Mile project by encouraging wider community involvement and I wish it continued success into the future.’
Funding for Pure is scheduled to end in December this year, however, the project recently submitted a project evaluation and submission of extension to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, and they are confident that they will receive further funding to continue the project and their various initiatives.
Project Manager of Pure, Ian Davis, stated,
‘Pure was launched in 2006 and since that date it has proven extremely successful. We are the first project of its kind in Ireland and I would like to thank, the Department of Environment, Wicklow County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, South Dublin County Council, Coillte, National Parks & Wildlife Service, and the Wicklow Uplands Council, for their continued support.’
Anyone interested in the 2020 Pure Mile competition can request an application form and information pack by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org 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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