Locals disgusted by beach goer litter in north Down after Crawfordsburn beach 'trashed'

See Crawdforsburn beach after it was 'trashed' by litterbugs.

Local residents have expressed concerns over the amount of litter being left behind by people visiting beaches in north Down.

One video that appeared on social showed Crawfordsburn beach and the nearby grass covered in litter after an influx of visitors during the sunny weather.

“The whole coastline is trashed,” one resident told UTV News.

“This volume of footfall at Crawfordsburn is akin to an organised festival.

"This level of waste has increased year on year along this coastline during summer and continues to be unchecked and unchallenged by local councils despite their apparent awareness.

"I walked the beach this morning to clear the waste left for the second day in a row. No one is picking up after themselves.

"Entire towels are being left as they were laid on the beach. I collected a crate of seven unopened bottles of beer, three half full litre bottles of alcohol, bottles of sunscreen, abandoned disposable BBQs, reusable face masks and five full bags of food and drink rubbish.

  • Seahill was also strewn with litter.

"Last year, I was invited to a community clean organised up by a local MLA in response to the waste. This isn't enough to tackle litter and mitigates the responsibility of the council to do this if local residents are responsible for the mess.

"The Belfast-Bangor train has stopped dropping people off at Helen's Bay when the foot traffic is high, so instead, hundreds are getting off at Seahill, which is a smaller beach. The level of waste from Seahill to Helen's Bay and around to Crawfordsburn looks like the aftermath of a festival, yet no one is showing up to make sure the area is cleaned. 

"Bins are few and far between along this coastline and quickly fill up. But regardless, they aren't being used. This rubbish is being blown into the sea or washed away at high tide. We're in the middle of a climate and nature emergency and people are showing total disregard for plastic pollution.

"People flock here because it's a beautiful landscape, but have no respect for the area that's home to many others. This area is home to seals, otters, badgers and multiple rare sea birds. But during summer, it becomes a waste land."

Local residents pick up litter left behind on the north Down coast

The Department for the Environment condemned the litter.

“We are very disappointed by behaviour shown by some visitors to Crawfordsburn yesterday & trail of rubbish left behind,” DAERA tweeted.

“We commend our staff who worked into the night to complete the clean-up & call on public to put rubbish in the bin or take it home when visiting parks & beaches.”

A police officer was also injured while dealing with the crowds in the area.

“Disgraceful attacks on @PSNIArdsNDown in Crawfordsburn. The police are there to keep everyone safe, especially in challenging times such as packed beaches in hot weather,” said Alliance MP Stephen Farry.

“People must enjoy themselves while respecting residents and the emergency services.”

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