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Another successful year for the PURE Mile

Due to Covid-19, the annual Pure Mile Gala Evening, which would usually attract hundreds of Pure Mile Volunteers, was unfortunately cancelled this year.  However, Pure considers it important to celebrate the hard work and achievements of all the Pure Mile Volunteers in Cleaning Up The Wicklow/Dublin Uplands.

The Pure Mile is an environmental, community, heritage initiative, established by the Pure Project, which encourages communities and groups living in rural areas of Wicklow, South Dublin and Dun-Laoghaire, 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, anti-dumping campaigns, research information about their local wildflowers, plants, trees, animals, and the built, cultural, and social heritage of an area. 

2021 was the twelfth year of the Pure Mile, with the largest number of groups and volunteers involved in the project since it was established in 2009.  In the first year the Pure Mile had 6 miles of road (9.6 kilometres), and over the years the project has grown extensively to over 200 communities, groups, scouts, beavers, primary schools, secondary schools, walking groups, cycling groups, running groups, businesses and organisations, who collectively improved and enhanced over 800 miles (1,280 kilometres), of road, mountains, woodlands, valleys, forestries, upland amenities, car parks, and beaches, with the removal of tonnes of illegal dumping and litter from the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands.  Over 2,000 litter picks and clean-ups were organised in 2021 and additional projects included, natural heritage, built heritage, community, biodiversity, and education.

The groups ranged from all over Wicklow, South Dublin and Dun-Laoghaire and each one will receive a Pure Mile Certificate of Participation, and all will be included in the popular Pure Mile Calendar, which will also be launched this month.

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly T.D., commented on the success of Pure Mile 2021,

‘The tremendous work done by the Pure Mile Project has been a remarkable success story since it started 12 year ago.  Never before have so many people taken advantage of the stunning countryside we have in this country.  As a direct result of getting out to enjoy the mountains, lakes and beaches more of us are starting to appreciate just how precious it is and why it needs to be protected.  The record numbers of volunteers and the ever-increasing number of areas now being cleared of litter and rubbish by the scheme is helping to transform our great outdoors.  I can’t praise highly enough the team behind the project and the thousands of Pure Mile Volunteers from over 200 communities who took time out to collect rubbish from our roads, fields, hedgerows, and uplands, over the past year.  It really is making an important difference.’

Mr. Frank Curran, CEO Wicklow County Council commented, ‘For over fifteen years, the Pure Project has proven extremely successful in tackling the issue of illegal dumping, engaging with communities, and creating environmental awareness.  I would like to congratulate all of the Pure Mile Volunteers in keeping the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands Clean, the way it should be, and I wish the project continued success into the future.’

Cathaoirleach for Wicklow County Council, Cllr. Shay Cullen also commented, ‘

‘I would like to thank The Pure Mile team and in particular Ian Davis for his dedication and enthusiasm.  The Pure project is going from strength to strength and this can only happen with wonderful volunteers throughout the County, who have grown the project since its conception in 2009 to the countywide success that it now is.  They are an inspiration to us all and an example of how we can all do a little to make a big difference to our local community and environment.’

The Pure Mile is the perfect opportunity for communities and groups who want to make a positive contribution to their locality and environment, and assists people in improving and enhancing the place they live in, or recreate in.  Special interest groups such as, walking groups, cycling groups, scout groups, businesses, and organisations, adopt a mile, or miles of road, in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands and help Pure to Clean Up The Uplands.  Pure provide all groups with Pure Mile signage, Pure Mile bags, gloves, litter pickers and Pure Mile high-vis vests, and they also remove all of the rubbish collected by the groups.  

Ian Davis, Pure Project Manager commented on the success and growth of the 2021 Pure Mile,

‘The Pure Mile has grown every year and we now have thousands of volunteers involved in the project.  Due to Covid-19 we saw an increase in volunteers getting involved with more people out walking their local roads, rediscovering their local areas, becoming more aware of their natural environment and landscape, the flora and fauna, and appreciating their built heritage.  Earlier in the year we started with individual and family units doing regular litter picks, all within the 5km limits and all following Covid-19 guidelines, and then we progressed to large clean-ups, which resulted in the removal of over 4,000 bags of rubbish and illegal dumping from the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands.  Over the years the Pure Mile Volunteers have removed tonnes of litter and illegal dumping from upland roads, verges, hedges, and drains, and they have made a huge difference to the areas they live in, or recreate in.’

Twenty-Three Pure Mile groups will receive Certificates of Recognition for their efforts and a cash prizes of €250, with a total of €5,750 distributed to groups which will further assist them in their local projects to improve and enhance the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands.

Pure Mile Groups that will receive a certificate of recognition and a cheque of €250 include;

Clara Vale Cronybyrne Pure Miles – Litter Free / Community, Donard Glen Pure Miles – Litter Free / Community, Cool Killer Cows Whisper’s Pure Miles – Litter Free / Community, Kilmacurragh Kilcandra Pure Miles – Litter Free / Community, Cronyhorn/Tomacork Carnew Pure Miles – Litter Free / Community, Ballyduff Pure Miles – Litter Free / Community, Barndarrig Pure Miles – Litter Free / Community, Barnbawn Pure Miles – Anti-Dumping, Greenan Pure Miles – Anti-Dumping, Trooperstown Pure Miles – Anti-Dumping, Ballyramond and District Community Group Pure Miles – Anti-Dumping, Old Boley Glencree Pure Miles – Clean Up The Uplands, Rathdangan Pure Miles – Clean Up The Uplands, Lackan Pure Miles – Clean Up The Uplands, Glencormack/Killough/Little Newtown/Rocky Valley Drive Pure Miles – Clean Up The Uplands, Glencree Walking Group/Atha Cliath Cleanup The Uplands Team Pure Miles – Clean Up The Uplands, Tuckmill Lower Pure Miles – Clean Up The Uplands, Ballyteige Wheeler’s Lane Ballinatombay Ballinabarney Pure Miles – Heritage Interpretation, Stratford on Slaney Pure Miles – Community, Beech Road/Millennium Road/Love Lane/Shelton Pure Miles – Community, St. Mary’s College Arklow Pure Miles TY Group- Education, Michael Cullen (Rampere/Raheen Pure Miles) – Individual Award, Amira’s Pure Miles – Pure Mile Youth Ambassador 2021.

Pure was launched in 2006 and since that date it has proven extremely successful, in both reducing illegal dumping, and engaging with all demographics in society.  It’s the first project of its kind in Ireland involving a multi stakeholder approach collaboration with, the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, Wicklow County Council, South Dublin County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Coillte, National Parks & Wildlife Service, and the Wicklow Uplands Council. 

If any groups, communities, individuals, schools, walking groups, cycling groups, scouts, businesses, anyone, wants to get involved in next years Pure Mile, they can contact Pure at info@pureproject.ie or download and application from www.pureproject.ie/what-we-do/the-pure-mile/.  You can also write to; Pure Project, Wicklow Mountains, National Park, Kilafin, Laragh, Bray, Co. Wicklow and they will post out all the information or request an application form and information pack by phoning Pure on 0404 45547.

Pure would like to congratulate and thank all of the 2021 Pure Mile Groups – Amira’s Pure Miles, Annalecky Pure Miles, Avoca – Kilmagig, Castlemacadam, Red Kite Walk Pure Miles, Avoca Scouts & Beavers Pure Miles, Arklow Rock Pure Miles, Aghowle Glenealy Pure Miles, Avoca Knockanree Pure Miles, Atha Cliath Uplands Cleanup Team Pure Miles, Athdown Pure Miles, Aughavanna Pure Miles, Aghowle Pure Mile, Ballinaclash Pure Miles, Barndarrig Pure Miles, Ballyduff Pure Miles, Ballycoog Pure Miles, Ballylug Pure Miles, Ballyknockan Pure Miles, Ballysheeman Pure Miles, Ballydowling Pure Miles, Ballyvaltron Pure Mile, Ballybrew Pure Miles, Baltynanima Green Road Pure Miles, Ballyteige, Ballinatombay, Ballinabarney, Wheeler’s Road Pure Miles, Beech Road, Millennium Road, Love Lane Pure, Shelton, Miles, Blainroe Bin-to Win Pure Mile, Blessington Boat House  Pure Mile, Butter Hill, Woodend, Lugnagun Pure Miles, Barnbawn Pure Miles, Ballymoyle Lane Pure Mile, Ballybetagh Pure Miles, Ballyramond Commons Pure Miles, Ballybetagh Pure Miles, Ballinacarrig Lower Pure Miles, Butterhill Lower Rundle Knockerin Pure Miles, Ballymurrin Pure Miles, Ballyflanigan Dunganstown Pure Miles, Barranisky Pure Miles, Bog Road Kiltegan Pure Miles, Barnamire Pure Miles, Castletimon Brittas Pure Miles, Castleruddery Pure Miles, Clara Vale Cronybyrne Pure Miles, Conary Pure Miles, Crossbridge Pure Miles, Cruagh Pure Miles, Coolafancy/The Fancy Pure Miles, Cool Killer Cows Whisperers Pure Miles, Curtlestown Pure Miles, Cronyhorn Pure Miles, Conary Village Crossroads, Kilmacoo, Ballinabarney North & South Pure Miles, Castledermot Road Pure Miles, Dunlavin Pure Miles, Donard Village Pure Mile, Donard Glen Pure Mile, Newtown Road Donard Pure Miles, Dunlavin R412 Pure Miles, Donard Kelsha Bridge Pure Miles, Eco Trail Pure Miles, Fauna Road Pure Miles, The Many Miles of Glenmalure Pure Miles, Glenmacnass Pure Miles, Glen Heste Pure Miles, Glencree Walking Group Pure Miles, Golden Hill Manor Kilbride Pure Miles, Glencormack Killough Little Newown Rocky Valley Drive Pure Miles, Greenan Pure Miles, The Many Pure Miles of Grange Con – Grange Con Baronstown Pure Miles, Griffinstown Glen Pure Miles, Knocknamuck Pure Miles, Whitehills Pure Miles, Ballycore Pure Miles, Five Crossroads Pure Miles, Rathsallagh Pure Miles, Ballyhurtim Pure Miles, Grangecon Lower Pure Miles, Ballyhook Pure Miles, Bessina Pure Miles, Baronstown Pure Miles, Baronstown Upper Pure Miles, Rathtoole Pure Miles, Ballynure Pure Miles, Knockdoo Pure Miles, Castle Hill Pure Miles, Grangecon Hill Pure Miles, Knockarigg Hill Pure Miles, Lowtown Pure Miles, Moneymore Pure Miles, Knoxtershill Pure Miles, Colbinstown Pure Miles, Oldcourt Pure Miles, Hill Picket Pure Miles, Hollywood Village Pure Miles, Hollywood Corragh Pure Miles, Hollywood Demesne Pure Miles, Hollywood Ballysize Pure Miles, Hollywood Broughills Pure Miles, Hillbrook Lower Pure Miles, Irish Mountain Running Association Pure Miles, Johnstown Hill Pure Miles, Johnstown Beach Pure Mile, Johnstown North Pure Miles, Kilquiggin Pure Miles, Kilmacurragh Pure Miles, Kilmolin Pure Miles, Kilgarron  Pure Miles, Kilbaylet Pure Miles, Kindlestown Wood Pure Miles, Kilmacurragh Dunganstown Pure Miles,  Lacken Pure Miles, Laragh/Ballard Pure Miles, Lough Dan Scouts Pure Miles, Lugglass Pure Miles, Lacken Village Pure Miles, Lackan Templeboodin Pure Miles, Lackan Carrig Lane Pure Miles, Luggala Pure Miles, Laragh Hill Pure Miles, Munny Pure Miles, Old Boley Pure Miles, Newtown Road Pure Miles, Newbawn Rathdrum Pure Miles, Raheen Rampere Pure Miles, Rathmoon Carrigeen Pure Miles, Redcross Ballykean Loop Pure Miles, Rednagh Annacurra Pure Miles, Red Lane Sugar Loaf Pure Miles, Reservoir Cogs Pure Miles, Rathdangan Pure Miles, Shielstown Pure Miles, Snugborough Pure Miles, Stratford On Slaney Pure Miles, Sugar Loaf Car Park Pure Miles, Straghmore Pure Miles, St. Mary’s College Arklow Pure Miles, Three Castles Pure Miles, Tinoran Pure Miles, Tomriland Pure Miles, Trooperstown Pure Miles, Tuckmill Lower Pure Miles, Tomacork Pure Miles, Waterfall Road Pure Miles, Woodfield Loop Pure Miles.

Further information on Pure can be found on www.pureproject.ie