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Live Here Love Here Summer Update 2019

Karina Robinson   Wed 10 Jul 2019

Check out our Summer Newsletter! You've all been extremely busy over the past few months with BIG Spring Clean, Small Grants Scheme, Clean Coasts Week, Power of Video Competition Launch and the Kik Plastic tour!

We'd like to thank everyone who has been involved and supported each of the programmes.

Thank you for making this year bigger than ever. We've smashed 2018 out of the park...just take a look at our results in our Live Here Love Here Summer Update.

http://bit.ly/LHLHSummer2019

Plastic pollution: Compostable Packaging Trial

Karina Robinson   Wed 03 Jul 2019

Public awareness of plastic pollution is on the rise and businesses are also taking action to reduce the amount of pointless plastic they use.

As part of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s Tackling Plastic NI Project (funded by DAERA), we’re currently trialing compostable packaging items throughout Ards & North Down, to reduce plastic pollution on our streets and shores.

Through the Live Here Love Here campaign and Ards & North Down Borough Council’s RCIF Scheme we visited on-the-go retailers and asked if they would like to get involved. We got chatting to business owners who had already invested in compostable packaging, those who had thought about it but hadn’t yet taken the plunge and those who it was all new to.

With 625 bits of litter found on our beaches every 100m, 78% of which was plastic, including polystyrene food containers, plastic cutlery, food wrappers, plastic bottles and tops, as businesses and consumers we need to make changes fast.

We worked closely with local waste management company, Natural World Products, who had carried out trials on specific compostables to ensure items were 100% certified as compostable.

Participating retailers will be educating their customers on how to dispose of compostable items correctly. Either by giving back to the retailer or putting them in their food caddy/bin. Look out for the compostable packaging in Ards & North Down area with the Live Here Love Here and RCIF logos. Make sure to tell the shop what you thought. We want to understand how well compostable items work from both vendor user view. We all need to work together and make small sacrifices to our convenience driven lives to reduce pointless plastic and help the environment in which we live.

If your favourite sandwich shop is using single-use plastic, especially polystyrene, ask them to source alternatives, or ask if you can you bring your own food container. Small changes can make a big difference.

Our message:

If you don’t need it, don’t use it – don’t just pick up the plastic cutlery or straw ‘just in case’

If you use it, source an alternative – bring your own reusable food container, or choose to buy from a business using an alternative to plastic for takeaway food

If you do use plastic – ensure you recycle/dispose of it properly, if it can be recycled take it home, if it can’t make sure it’s disposed of in a bin and won’t end up on our streets or beaches.

Check out the BBC coverage on the trial: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-northern-ireland-48760751/plastic-pollution-stemming-the-tide-on-ni-s-beaches

#TacklingPlasticNI

COMMUNITY BEACH ARTWORK LAUNCHES CLEAN COASTS WEEK

Karina Robinson   Wed 15 May 2019

We're calling for volunteers across Northern Ireland to get involved in Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week, running from 1st-9th June with a series of litter picks and clean ups. Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful want to inspire and create a Clean Coasts Community to take action and help preserve the coastline for generations to come.

To launch this year’s clean up, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful called for volunteers to ‘Do Good, Feel Good’ and help create a large scale piece of sand art on a local beach. The piece itself was designed by renowned sand artist Sean Corcoran who used the wave from the Clean Coasts logo as inspiration. The community then filled the wave with hearts and bubbles as well as completing a beach clean to ensure everyone could enjoy the artwork litter-free.

Last year across the island of Ireland 3938 volunteers registered for 207 community-based events and clean ups across beaches, rivers, loughs, canals and reservoirs - collecting an incredible 3589 bags of litter, that’s 23 tons – the equivalent of 250 people.

Jodie McAneaney, Live Here Love Here Manager at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful comments: “Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week is growing from strength to strength and we’re excited to see how many volunteers will support us this year. Our aim is to create a clean coasts community who will continue to look after and enjoy our shores throughout the year and encourage others to do the same. Northern Ireland has some of the most beautiful shores in the world and we should be proud to protect and preserve them as well as taking advantage of the wonderful sports and hobbies organised around them by local communities.”

Gillian Shields, Packaging and Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland said: “At Coca-Cola HBC, sustainability lies at the heart of our business. We continually strive to minimise our impact on the environment, with ambitious targets to reduce water, energy, waste and packaging.

We also believe in a world without waste, and our 11 year-long partnership with the Clean Coasts programme in Northern Ireland plays an important role in that ambition. With the support of our partners Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, we are keen to do even more in 2019 to champion responsible behaviour with respect to littering and encourage greater recycling.”

As well as making a positive effort to enhance the environment, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful are keen to promote mental well-being via the ‘Do Good, Feel Good’ theme. Art therapy is a proven treatment for helping improve mental wellbeing and can reduce stress, negative feelings and improve overall health.

This year’s campaign aims at igniting a community spirit, targeting enthusiasts who feel passionate about the environment, Northern Ireland and its shores to join in the activities or create their own events. By registering, volunteers receive a complimentary kit with everything they need to run their own event, plus a list of how to become involved in other neighbouring events and communities.

Volunteers can use #CleanCoasts to search for all the latest information and use it to upload their before and after pictures of their litter-picks and associated beach art.

This year Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week is proudly supported by local ocean enthusiasts such as former Miss Northern Ireland Tiffany Brien - who has competed Internationally, representing Northern Ireland and Ireland in sailing, Kiko Matthews – who broke the world record for the fastest female solo row across the Atlantic Ocean in 2018 and has since devoted her time to the anti-plastic campaign ‘Kik-Plastic 2019’ and Siofra Caherty, founder of the sustainable design studio ‘Jump The Hedges’, which focuses on sustainability, functionality and local manufacturing.

Limited kits are available and will be issued on a first come first served basis, register now so you don’t miss out! . For more information on getting involved with Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week – visit www.liveherelovehere.org or email Karina.Robinson@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org

Live Here Love Here Update: April 2019

Karina Robinson   Thu 02 May 2019

More information on BIG Spring Clean competition, Small Grants Scheme and our Clean Coasts Week!

Read the full newsletter here:

http://mailchi.mp/keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org/liveherelovehereupdate-april2019

Live Here Love Here Update: March 2019

Karina Robinson   Thu 04 Apr 2019

Hello friends, Spring has sprung and we hope you are ready for another great season!

This year we celebrated 5 years of Live Here Love Here, and the campaign has grown from strength to strength since those small beginnings - all thanks to your efforts and support! Over the past 5 years 553,571 volunteers have been involved in the BIG Spring Clean, over 1 million pieces of litter have been collected through the Clean Coasts Programme, 314 Adopt A Spot groups have looked after their local area and a massive £630,015 has been given out to support our Small Grants Scheme projects!

If you have any clean ups, green ups or spruce ups planned, please tell us about them and we'll promote them in the next newsletter and social media.

From Jodie, Nicola, Karina and Ciara!

To read the full newsletter go to: https://bit.ly/2VgZxeh

Northern Ireland’s largest clean-up, The Big Spring Clean, launched today at Shane’s Castle for the ninth year running. Organisers called on volunteers, schools, businesses and community groups to pick up their litter pickers and spring into action – with a particular focus on plastic.

The Big Spring Clean is a province-wide campaign organised by charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s Live Here Love Here programme. Last year 119,000 volunteers took part, making it the largest volunteer clean up in the country.

This year, as Big Spring Clean launches its month-long campaign, problematic plastics are high up on the agenda. Plastic in our environment is not just litter, it's a pollutant, making up two of the top three most frequently encountered litter items. 80% of this litter ends up in our oceans which is incredibly costly and difficult, if not impossible to remove, devasting coast lines and harming marine life which in turn means plastic is entering our food chain, damaging our health.

Jodie McAneaney, Live Here Love Here Manager comments at the launch: “The time is now for preventative steps to reduce, reuse and recycle the plastics we use. The Big Spring Clean is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the issues here in Northern Ireland and record our findings so that we can take steps to improve. It’s also great to get all the volunteers together to discuss the issues surrounding plastic litter and give our parks, forests and beaches a Big Spring Clean before the Easter Break so that people can enjoy the outdoors.”

We can all do just one thing and together make a difference. Volunteers can either organise their own clean-up or get involved in an existing event. Visit www.liveherelovehere.org/bigspringclean

LITTER LEGENDS & WASTE WARRIORS ASSEMBLE

Karina Robinson   Thu 14 Feb 2019   updated: Tue 21 May 2019

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Announce Community Award Winners

Tuesday 12th February saw volunteers gather at the 3rd annual Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Community Awards in Belfast City Hall with host, TV presenter Joe Mahon and guest speaker Jo Ruxton, filmmaker and campaigner who opened the eyes of the world to the problems of plastic in A Plastic Ocean and influenced Blue Planet II.

The evening was designed to recognise and thank all the volunteers who had been short listed for their continued hard work and dedication to the cause – with an opportunity to hear their inspirational stories which instil pride in our local communities through practical environmental action.

From regular litter picks to the creation of shared community spaces these unsung heroes dedicate their time and efforts into making our home cleaner, greener, safer and more sustainable.

The winners have carried out some remarkable work this year including addressing social isolation and loneliness among older people living in care homes by creating beautiful gardens - the only green space that some residents will see. A keen canoeist has made a significant effect on the appearance of the waterways by removing debris and litter while a young 15 year old litter picker has collected around 100 bags of litter and even taken his litter picker on holiday. Another local hero raised over £1000 from biscuit wrappers alone for ‘Kicks Count’, a charity that promotes baby movement awareness to reduce still birth whilst one group reached out to minority groups to address language barriers by publishing an infographic pack that displays the dos and don’ts of domestic waste disposal and littering - improving community relations.

Guest Speaker Jo Ruxton encouraged volunteers to make a stand in their local communities and champion the reduction of litter: “Never underestimate just how much one single person can achieve. The problem might seem insurmountable but take that first step on your own and just watch how many people join you and help bring about change.”

Live Here Love Here Manager Jodie McAneaney comments: “These awards are so important, they give us the opportunity to highlight the issues and reward those who are actively making a difference. Plastic in particular has been hitting the headlines this year with its devasting effects, making our special guest Jo Ruxton the perfect candidate to inspire us to really strive for change. The fact that every piece of plastic ever created is still on the planet is a real eye opener. Hopefully in 2019 our continued efforts and that of our volunteers and partners can make steps towards tackling this terrible problem.”

At Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful we run a number of campaigns and programmes that embody the values of Live Here Love Here which would not be possible without the help of our dedicated volunteers. If you would like to find out more or get involved with Live Here Love Here please visit our website; www.liveherelovehere.org or contact enquiries@liveherelovehere.org.

To see our 2019 award winners please click the document below.

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LHLH Award Winners 2019

Merry Christmas from Live Here Love Here -December Update

Karina Robinson   Thu 20 Dec 2018

In the wind down for Christmas, this issue we've got some past Community Award winners telling us why you should nominate your local heroes and what winning the award has meant to them. The Small Grants Scheme Online Claim is now live, and all grants must be claimed by 14th January 2019.

If you have any clean ups planned for the new year please tell us about them and we'll promote them in the next newsletter and social media. We've also been trying to make a conscious effort to shop locally and sustainably this Christmas with the help of Do Your Bit NI and of course we've our Litter Heroes of the Month. Have a read through, have a great Christmas and we'll see you in the New Year!

From Jodie, Nicola, Karina and Ciara!

https://mailchi.mp/keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org/merry-christmas-from-live-here-live-here

Anti Car Litter Video Challenge Winners Announced

Karina Robinson   Fri 02 Nov 2018

Live Here Love Here in partnership with McDonald’s, created the WISE UP! #DRIVEYOURRUBBISHHOME competition in association with the Power of Video conference. The competition challenged YouTubers to shoot their own anti-litter videos to be judged by famous YouTuber Philip Bloom and YouTuber peers for the chance to win state of the art camera equipment.

The innovative content competition, hosted during the Power of Video conference held at the Ulster Hall in September, named Edward Cleary as the winner. His video entitled ‘Dave’ documented the comical journey of a piece of paper from where it was littered, back home to its owner.

To read more go to: https://bit.ly/2QeuxZM

Live Here Love Here Autumn Update

Karina Robinson   Thu 01 Nov 2018

Check out our Autumn Newsletter to learn more about our upcoming events and clean ups, as well as some opportunities from our friends!

Follow the link below to have a read:

https://mailchi.mp/keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org/live-here-love-here-newsletter-october-2018

Litter Loathing Puppet, Packs a Punch

Karina Robinson   Fri 07 Sep 2018

A litter-loathing puppet is the star of our new anti-litter campaign being rolled out across Northern Ireland and he’s pulling no punches when it comes to offenders.

The campaign from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and its Live Here Love Here programme, features the puppet who pops up out of nowhere giving litter louts a proper puppet telling off in true Northern Ireland style.

We hope that the straight talking puppet will get through to those people who still continue to litter.

Jodie McAneaney, Live Here Love Here Manager said, “Littering continues to be a major problem on our streets, in our parks and on our beaches. 95% of streets and public spaces surveyed in Northern Ireland have at least some litter on them.

“Last year, over 141 tonnes of waste was collected, costing the public purse £45.5m a year on street cleansing. Like many members of the public who take pride in our province, our puppet gets really aggravated when he sees those who litter foul carelessly.”

The campaign will feature on TV, online, across billboards and radio advertising too.

You can find our Ads on YouTube at https://youtu.be/h4ezUvevjr4

Live Here Love Here Summer Update

Karina Robinson   Thu 06 Sep 2018

Check out our Summer Newsletter to learn more about our upcoming events and clean ups, as well as some opportunities from our friends!

Follow the link below to have a read:

https://mailchi.mp/keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org/live-here-love-here-summer-update

Will You Be Part Of The World's Largest Beach Clean Event?

Karina Robinson   Thu 06 Sep 2018

The Big Beach Clean is taking place on the weekend of the 14th, 15th & 16th September across Northern Ireland and more than 100 other countries.

On Friday 14th September as part of the Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Clean Up, hundreds of employees from Coca-Cola HBC will be kick-starting the Big Beach Clean effort by downing tools and encouraging everyone to get involved and organise your own clean up.

For more information go to:

https://mailchi.mp/keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org/will-you-be-part-of-the-worlds-largest-beach-clean-event

As you know, each year Live Here Love Here run the BIG Spring Clean and Clean Coasts Programme, handing out BIG Spring Clean kits and loaning as much equipment as possible not just from March to June but right throughout the year. Click the link below to see what impact you have made during the BIG Spring Clean and Clean Coasts Week!

https://mailchi.mp/keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org/drum-roll-pleasebig-spring-clean-and-clean-coasts-week-results

Check out our newsletter to view the award winners and shortlisted nominees for the 10th Anniversary of the Coca-Cola Coast Care Awards 2017!

On Thursday 5th October, Live Here Love Here and Coca-Cola HBC celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Coca-Cola Coast Care Awards, held at Parliament Buildings, Stormont. The event, hosted by BBC Weatherman Barra Best, praised and rewarded the efforts of volunteers who have gone the extra mile to clean up and look after our coastline and inland waterways, in a bid to preserve the natural beauty of these areas.

Thank you to all involved!

Coast Care Awards 2016

Nicola Fitzsimons   Thu 20 Oct 2016

Volunteers who have gone the extra mile to clean up and look after our coastline, loughs and inland waterways have been recognised by environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful as part of the prestigious Live Here Love Here Coast Care Awards and Seminar event held at Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

David Small, Deputy Secretary of Environment, Marine and Fisheries Group and Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency presented the dedicated volunteers with their awards along with BBC’s Karen Patterson who hosted the event.

The Live Here Love Here Coast Care programme supports the work of volunteers who clean up beaches, rivers and loughs throughout Northern Ireland. With the continued support of Coca-Cola and Tourism Northern Ireland, the Coast Care Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding work of local people who are passionate about caring for Northern Ireland’s coastline, loughs and inland waterways and who carry out practical work in a bid to reduce the impact of litter and other environmental damage to preserve the natural beauty of these areas.

The day of awards and rewards even celebrated the beauty of Northern Ireland’s Coastline and Inland waterways through the Picture Perfect Award supported by Tourism Northern Ireland, this award captures our beautiful scenery through one single stunning photograph.

Speaking about the event, Environment Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “In Northern Ireland, we are proud to boast of some of the most stunning coastline in the world. Our long sandy beaches, prime fishing spots and waterways offer excellent recreational opportunities for the health and well-being of all. Thanks to many passionate volunteers these stunning areas are kept in pristine condition for local people and visitors to explore and enjoy.”

“The tireless efforts of the volunteers also have a huge impact on keeping these coastlines and waterways safe for the huge range of species that call them home. I am sure they will also inspire others to get involved in the Live Here Love Here campaign and help us create a cleaner, greener environment for everyone. They set a shining example to us all and make a vitally important contribution to our world,” the Minister added.

Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, said: “Our long-standing relationship with Coca-Cola enables us to reward the hard work, community spirit and sheer persistence of volunteers who regularly clean up our coast and inland waterways. At this event we take a little time to celebrate the achievements of passionate ‘can-do’ people to keep Northern Ireland’s shores, loughs, canals and rivers beautiful. Through their freely given time it is obvious they really do live here and love here. To everyone involved, your work is simply inspiring, well done and thank you.”

Gillian Shields, Community Affairs Manager, Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland said: “We are delighted to partner with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and support the Clean Coast and Coast Care programmes. These awards recognise and reward the tremendous contribution and practical action being taken by individual and groups across Northern Ireland in looking after our much treasured beaches and waterways. Congratulations to all the beach managers and local communities from around Northern Ireland on achieving these prestigious awards."

Louise Kearney, Director for HR & Organisational Development, Tourism NI, said; “Northern Ireland boasts some of the most spectacular coastline in Europe and this is one of our greatest tourism assets. Volunteers and community groups make a huge contribution to taking care of our coast and we are delighted that that these efforts are being recognised through the Coast Care Awards. Tourism NI is again proud to sponsor the Picture Perfect Award.”

List of Coca-Cola Coast Care Award Winners 2016

Award Winners:

• Coca-Cola Coast Care Group

National Trust Volunteers Portstewart Strand (Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council)

• Coca-Cola Inland Waterway Group

Glas-na-Bradan Conservation Association (Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council)

• Brighter Futures

Mourne Heritage Trust Youth Rangers (Newry, Mourne and Down District Council)

• Better Business Partnership

TESCO Antrim (Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council)

• Local Hero

Sebastian Graham (Mid Ulster Council)

• Picture Perfect (Tourism Northern Ireland)

Wilbert McIlmoyle (Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council)

• A Special Award for Inspiring Individual was presented to Eric Rainey (Ards and North Down Borough Council) for his commitment to the the Coast Care Programme.

Cavehill Clean Up

Nicola Fitzsimons   Thu 08 Sep 2016

On Friday 2nd September volunteers from A&L Goodbody teamed up with Live Here Love Here to help keep Cavehill Country Park Clean!

Fifteen volunteers left their desks and picked up their litter pickers to clean up one of Belfast’s most popular public parks. Despite the hard efforts of Belfast City Council staff and other volunteers who regularly maintain the site to keep it looking great there was evidence that the nasty litter lout had been about. Drinks bottles and dog poo bags were the most common items found and a single sock was one of the more peculiar items! It is sad to see this beautiful area littered by the rubbish visitors leave behind and spoiling the natural beauty of the country park.

Nicola Fitzsimons, Community Development Officer, Live Here Love Here said “It is unbelievable that people are prepared to carry their rubbish up Cavehill, but won’t carry it back down to put into a bin. I often wonder what tourists think of our beauty spots strewn with bottles, cans and plastic dog poo bags. I urge people to take your litter home or put into the nearest bin and stop treating our parks and mountains as dumping grounds.”

A&L Goodbody said, "We were delighted to be part of such a great initiative, our staff thoroughly enjoyed helping out and the beautiful surroundings of Cavehill Country Park made a very welcome change to the usual office desks!"

The clean up allowed the team of volunteers from A&L Goodbody to show their pride for their local surrounds and to work together to say they Live Here Love Here. If you would like to make a difference in your area whether it be big or small contact Live Here Love Here at enquiries@liveherelovehere.org or visit www.liveherelovehere.org

Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme

Nicola Fitzsimons   Fri 01 Jul 2016

The third year of the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme will help communities, schools and groups to take practical action to improve their local environment and support the growth of civic pride throughout Northern Ireland.

The environmental charity, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful will be working with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Tourism Northern Ireland, local Councils, Choice Housing and Coca-Cola to launch the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme.

The Small Grants Scheme is designed to help groups improve the quality of their local environment by reducing littering and dog fouling; enhancing the environmental management of a local area; contributing to the development of civic pride within a community with a focus on environmental improvements or to enhance or attract tourism to their community through environmental improvements. Interested groups can visit www.liveherelovehere.org for more information and an application pack.

The scheme forms part of the wider Live Here Love Here programme, which includes an innovative media campaign and exciting volunteering opportunities to encourage participation all year round. To learn more please visit www.liveherelovehere.org.

The Small Grants Scheme is open to volunteer groups operating in participating Council areas:

• Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council

• Ards and North Down Borough Council

• Belfast City Council

• Choice Housing (NI wide)

• Coca-Cola (NI wide)

• Derry City and Strabane District Council

• Fermanagh and Omagh District Council

• Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

• Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

This year we are pleased to announce that the Live Here Love Here partnership has grown to include Choice Housing Association and Coca-Cola. They will be providing additional funding to groups who are active either within housing association areas or coastal areas and inland waterways respectively.

Groups will need to complete a simple application form detailing how their project will improve their local environment or community through practical action. The deadline for applications is noon on Monday 1st August 2016.

Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, says: “These small grants support voluntary practical action where people want to grow a strong ‘can-do’ community spirit. It is exciting to see the grant scheme growing with the seven councils, DAERA and Tourism NI now joined by Choice Housing and Coca Cola. This simply means more money reaching the places and people whose ambition is to bring about positive change where they live.”

Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister, Michelle McIlveen, said: “I very much welcome community groups and local organisations getting involved in protecting and promoting their local environment. The more they participate, the more clean and green their neighbourhoods will be. It is fitting, therefore, that my department is supporting the highly successful “Live Here Love Here” campaign, now in its third year. By supporting the campaign my department is helping Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and local councils deliver clear tangible benefits for the local community through this excellent grant scheme.”

Michael McDonnell, Chief Executive of Choice Housing said: “Since launching in 2014, Live Here Love Here has supported groups to take small but important actions that have made a big difference in our communities. We all want cleaner streets, with less mess and graffiti, and more green spaces in our neighbourhoods. These grants give everyone a chance to improve their environment and the sense of pride in the places they live.

“Our partnership with the campaign is one of a series of investments that Choice is committing to this year and that enable people to secure tangible benefits and build stronger community spirit. We hope that our support will help amplify the campaign’s efforts to revitalise and reenergise neighbourhoods across Northern Ireland.”

Gillian Shields, Community Affairs Manager with Coca-Cola HBC NI said: “Having supported the Clean Coast Programme for over 9 years we are delighted to be merging the already existing Coca-Cola Coast Care Grant Scheme with the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme. It is my hope that with this funding a wealth of new projects will come into existence that will have a very real impact on the local community, and that’s something Coca-Cola are very happy to support.”

Andy Patterson at Tourism Northern Ireland, says: “A beautiful environment is part of the tourism fabric of Northern Ireland which our visitors greatly value. Last year’s small grants scheme enabled communities to take the lead in making positive changes in their neighbourhoods and deliver improvements around our coastline. We are delighted to support the Small Grants Scheme once again and we are confident that the projects which are enabled by this fund will add to the positive perceptions and profile of our destination by presenting a cleaner, greener Northern Ireland"

For more information on the live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme please visit www.liveherelovehere.org or contact Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful on 028 9073 6920.

The Clean Coast programme saw more than 4,600 volunteers, in 210 community groups, collect a staggering 28 tonnes of litter from the marine environment in Northern Ireland throughout 2015.

Coca-Cola Clean Coast Week 2016, which runs from 6th – 15th May, is now calling for new recruits across Northern Ireland to get involved in the numerous events and clean-ups taking place along coasts, beaches, rivers and loughs around the province throughout the week.

A joint initiative between Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Coca-Cola, the theme of the 2016 awareness week is ‘Enjoy Your Beach, Enjoy Your Beach Clean’. This year’s campaign will run in partnership with An Taisce in the Republic of Ireland and there are a range of cross boarder activities planned including clean up events along Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough and the opportunity for volunteers to travel to Wexford to carry out a special beach clean ahead of a seal release!

The United Nation Environmental Programme (UNEP) estimates that 8 million individual litter items enter the marine environment every day. Marine litter includes a range of materials which have been deliberately discarded, or accidentally lost on shore or at sea. It includes materials that are carried out to sea from land, rivers, drainage, sewerage systems and even by the wind.

The Clean Coast programme supports communities who are passionate about caring for Northern Ireland’s coastline and inland waterways, and Coca-Cola Clean Coast Week 2016 will see a range of fun and informative events with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of keeping these important natural resources free from litter. Volunteers across Northern Ireland will demonstrate the ethos of “Live Here Love Here” by organising practical clean-ups to reduce the impact of litter on the marine environment.

Coastal celebrations through the week will range from beach fitness activities in Portballintrae incorporating clean-ups, to a ‘balsam bashing’ event at Lagan Valley Regional Park, to halt the spread of the invasive plant. The Coca-Cola Coast Care Awards and annual photography competition will also launch as part of the celebrations.

Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said, “The Coca Cola Coast Care programme is making waves with clean-ups removing tonnes of litter from our beautiful coastline. Litter in the sea is a floating time bomb, just waiting to choke marine mammals, turtles and birds. So every piece removed helps save a life. Of course Coast Care volunteers would rather be doing something more constructive than picking up other people’s litter but the mad people are those who don’t put their litter in the bin in the first place.”

2016 sees the 9th year of Coca-Cola’s support of the initiative and Gillian Shields, Community Investment Manager for Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland said, “We are delighted to once again partner with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, encouraging local communities to come together in celebration of the wonderful natural resource that is our extensive coastline.

“As a global company, Coca-Cola has proud sustainability credentials and it is a source of great pride for us that Coca-Cola HBC recently topped the Dow Jones World and Europe Sustainability Indices in the beverage category for a 2nd consecutive year. Our local business makes an important contribution to these results, with ambitious 2020 targets to reduce our impact on the environment, focussing on water, waste and energy usage. We are pleased that we are on track to deliver against our commitments, with some already achieved ahead of schedule.

“Our partnership with Clean Coast is a further demonstration of our commitment to sustainability, and I would like to take the opportunity to encourage all community groups across the country to get involved in their local events and clean-ups, supporting the important goal of keeping our marine environment litter-free.”

For a full schedule of events please visit www.liveherelovehere.org. All Clean Coast Week activities added to the Live Here Love Here website will also contribute to Clean Europe Week as part of this annual Europe-wide clean-up event.

If you would like to make a difference in your area whether it be coastal or an inland waterway then you can get involved by getting in touch with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful by or emailing nicola.murray@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org . Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful will be able to support your clean ups with equipment and other means of assistance and you may even be nominated for a prestigious award when the summer is over!

Live Here Love Here March Newsletter

Nicola Fitzsimons   Fri 08 Apr 2016

Please take a few moments to enjoy our March 2016 Newsletter full of project updates, news and competitions.

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Live Here Love Here March Newsletter

Get involved in Rea’s Wood Clean Up!

Nicola Fitzsimons   Fri 08 Apr 2016

Back in February it came to light that Rea’s Wood, on the shores of Lough Neagh, was severely littered after the harsh winter storms. Since then many volunteers contacted Live Here Love Here, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, the Forestry Service and the Lough Neagh Partnership to offer their support. We had to ensure the water levels had receded and that any dangerous debris was removed from the paths before we could call on the public to come and get involved.

Join us at Antrim Lough Shore Park on Saturday 23rd April at 10.30am, shuttle transport will be provided.

Volunteers will be joined by staff and team members from Forestry Service, Live Here Love Here, NIEA, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Six Mile Water Trust, Lough Neagh Partnership and Tesco Antrim Volunteers must register with Nicola Murray at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful nicola.murray@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org or call

02890736920.

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful are calling for community groups, schools, businesses and individuals across Northern Ireland to show that they Live Here and they Love Here by getting involved in the Big Spring Clean.

Litter can blight our towns, villages, beaches, roadsides and countryside and make us feel a little less than proud of our beautiful surrounds. In April Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful will call for everybody to say, ‘Live Here Love Here’ and will be working in partnership with local councils, Department for the Environment and Tourism Northern Ireland to support clean ups throughout Northern Ireland.

Big Spring Clean now forms part of the wider Live Here Love Here campaign which educates and empowers communities to take action and do the right thing to tackle litter and create a sense of community pride throughout the province.

People power is an amazing thing – during last year’s Big Spring Clean over 89,506 people participated in cleaning up their local area and removing over 107 tonnes of litter ensuring that we Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said “Litter is a blot on our landscape that threatens the clean, green credentials for which the Emerald Isle is known. This is our home and we should take pride in it. I am calling for as many volunteers as possible to join the Big Spring Clean – let’s work together to make it a clean sweep and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.”

Ian Humphreys, CEO of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful added, “Last year one in every 20 people in Northern Ireland took part in a clean-up during The BIG Spring Clean. That’s up from just 2,500 individuals back in 2010. Why? Because we all want a better place to live, and this is a great opportunity to do something positive about it. Join us and help reduce the £40,000,000 a year street cleaning bill for ratepayers.”

Throughout April we are calling for your support once again, to find out more information and to register your Big Spring Clean online please visit www.liveherelovehere.org and we will send you a FREE clean up kit to help with your event.

Kilroot Beach Clean II: ‘The Revenge

Nicola Fitzsimons   Wed 24 Feb 2016

On Thursday 18th February the Live Here Love Here team joined forces with Ulster Wildlife to take a second attempt to clean up the beach at Kilroot Power Station. Thanks to Katy Bell, Ulster Wildlife - AES Biodiversity Intern for organising the great event and for putting together this article:

After clearing 52 bags of rubbish from the shoreline beside Kilroot Power Station last November I knew we could go back and get more.

With the help of Ulster Wildlife’s Living Seas Team, AES Staff, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful; we made up a team of 16 eager people willing to battle the rubbish before the tide came in.

Marine litter doesn’t only look bad but it can also be devastating to wildlife.

Dave Wall, Living Seas Officer with Ulster Wildlife said, "Marine Litter, particularly plastic waste is present in large quantities throughout the marine environment. It has direct conservation impacts such as choking marine mammals, marine reptiles and seabirds who mistake it for food. Marine plastics also have potentially far more sinister impacts as they break down into micro-plastics which are ingested by plankton and small fish and work their way up through every link in the marine food chain. The long-term effects of these micro plastics is as yet unknown but they are known to bind with toxins and pollutants which are also carried into the marine food chain with potential impacts on animal reproduction, body health and survival. Marine plastics are not biodegradable and will last for centuries in the oceans, so every single beach clean will help save wildlife for years to come.”

Maurice Turley, Biodiversity Officer for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, provided us with litter pickers, bags and gloves and arranged for the bagged litter to be collected. Everyone quickly got stuck in and it felt like this time we could see our work paying off.

We were on the beach for about two hours and a huge pile of bags was forming. We transported all the rubbish to the front gate where Mid and East Antrim Borough Council workers loaded it onto a truck for safe disposal. We counted 64 bags in total, along with 3 gas canisters, 2 tyres and an office chair!

It is amazing to think that those 116 bags of rubbish would still be on that beach without everyone’s hard work. We will back in April for Kilroot Beach Clean III!

Remember that everything you discard has to end up somewhere. It is our duty as a society to reduce the amount of waste we produce, reuse whatever we can, and recycle as much of our waste as possible. The rest of our waste needs to be disposed of safely, where it will not end up blowing off the land or washing down river into the seas.

Thanks to Dave, Tori, James, Orlagh, Maurice, George, Alex, Neil, Maureen, Pearl, Maurice, Nicola, Peter, Rachel and Nicholas for coming out to help, and to the staff of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for collecting our efforts for disposal.

visit www.ulsterwildlife.org to learn more about what Ulster Wildlife do.

Live Here Love Here January Newsletter

Nicola Fitzsimons   Fri 19 Feb 2016

Please take a few moments to enjoy our January 2016 Newsletter full of project updates, news and competitions.

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Live Here Love Here January Newsletter

Combating Litter in Your Community

Nicola Fitzsimons   Wed 17 Feb 2016

Want to Combat Litter in Your Community?

Do you live in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area? Is there an area in your community plagued by litter? Are you fed up with dog mess on your doorstep? Why not take pride in your area and join forces with Live Here Love Here to Combat Litter in Your Community!

Derry City and Strabane District Council together with Live Here Love Here would like to give your community the opportunity to introduce some exciting and innovative methods in a bid to reduce litter and dog fouling in areas that you live in and that you love.

Through the Combating Litter in Your Community Project we aim to recruit some forward thinking community groups, volunteers, schools and businesses who would like to try out some innovative litter combating methods in their local community. Your group will be provided with all the equipment, information and support needed to implement the project.

Participating groups can also apply for additional funding of up to £500 to further address the issue of litter and dog fouling in your community.

Dr Ian Humphreys, CEO of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful is delighted to be working with the Council on this project and keen to see groups grabbing this exciting opportunity, saying “these simple methods really can help people to do the right thing, whether that’s putting their litter in the bin or clearing up after their dog. And for starters the result is a street you can proudly walk along without watching where you step or what you step in.”

A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council said, “We look forward to working with both local communities and the Live Here Love Here team to develop long term practical solutions to local environmental problems by changing individual’s behaviours and attitudes in relation to litter and dog fouling.”

The Live Here Love Here Combating Litter in Your Community Project forms part of a wider programme aimed at promoting civic pride and a community can-do attitude by improving environmental quality in Northern Ireland.

Live Here Love Here is a partnership between Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, the Department of the Environment, Tourism Northern Ireland and participating local Councils.

To apply groups will need to complete a simple application form that can be downloaded below, the deadline for applications is noon on 7th March 2016.

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Combating Litter in Your Community Project Options

Awards and Rewards for Volunteers at Prestigious Coast Care Awards

Web Administrator   Tue 20 Oct 2015   updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016

Photo of Local awards 2015

Volunteers who have gone the extra mile to clean up and look after our coastline, loughs and inland waterways have been recognised by environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful as part of the prestigious Coca-Cola Coast Care Awards and Seminar event held at Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

Anna Lo, Chair of the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for the Environment, presented the dedicated volunteers with their awards along with Northern Ireland’s very own mentalist David Meade who hosted the event.

The Coca-Cola Coast Care programme supports the work of volunteers who clean up beaches, rivers and loughs throughout Northern Ireland. With the continued support of Coca-Cola and Tourism Northern Ireland, Coast Care Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding work of local people who are passionate about caring for Northern Ireland’s coastline, loughs and inland waterways and who carry out practical work in a bid to reduce the impact of litter and other environmental damage to preserve the natural beauty of these areas.

To celebrate the continued success of these awards, two worthy groups were awarded funding through the Live Here Love Here Coca-Cola Community Grant Scheme for coastal and inland waterway projects that demonstrate a benefit to their local environment or wider community.

The Live Here Love Here Coca-Cola Community Grants Scheme forms part of the wider Live Here Love Here programme, aimed at promoting civic pride within communities and improving environmental quality.

The day of awards and rewards even celebrated the beauty of Northern Ireland’s Coastline and Inland waterways through the Picture Perfect Award supported by Tourism Northern Ireland, this award captures our beautiful scenery through one single stunning photograph.

Speaking about the event, Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said, “I thoroughly commend the dedication and commitment of those individuals of all ages and across the North who selflessly give up their spare time to ensure that our stunningly beautiful coastline and waterways are kept in pristine condition. I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one for the vitally important contribution they make.

“This year we saw the introduction of new, tighter EU standards for bathing water quality. In spite of this, our bathing waters still performed extremely well and are in fact among the best in Europe. And it is in no small measure that our army of volunteers help to build upon and improve our coastal areas as fantastic places to spend time.

“I would encourage others to follow their shining example and get involved, whether in one of the many existing projects or to get inspired and start one in your own area. Perhaps you know of a stretch of overgrown waterway or corner of our coastline which would really benefit from some TLC. We want to hear from you.”

Chair of the Committee for the Environment, Anna Lo said: “It is only right that we take the time to recognise and appreciate the enthusiasm and hard work of our volunteers. Each volunteer devotes so much of their spare time to improve, protect and enhance our natural environment; so that we can all enjoy the benefits that that brings. Their commitment and work should not be underestimated.”

Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, said: “Our long-standing relationship with Coca-Cola to reward the hard work, community spirit and sheer persistence of volunteers who regularly clean up our coast and inland waterways is simply inspiring. At this event we take a little time to celebrate the achievements of passionate ‘can-do’ people to keep Northern Ireland’s shores, loughs, canals and rivers beautiful. Through their freely given time it is obvious they really do live here and love here. To everyone involved, well done and thank you.”

Gillian Shields, Community Engagement Manager, Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland said: “We are delighted to partner with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and support the Clean Coast and Coast Care programmes. These awards recognise and reward the tremendous contribution and practical action being taken by individual and groups across Northern Ireland in looking after our much treasured beaches and waterways. Congratulations to all the beach managers and local communities from around Northern Ireland on achieving these prestigious awards."

John McGrillen, Chief Executive, Tourism NI, said; “Northern Ireland boasts some of the most spectacular coastline in Europe and this is one of our greatest tourism assets. Volunteers and community groups make a huge contribution to taking care of our coast and we are delighted that that these efforts are being recognised through the Coast Care Awards. Tourism NI is again proud to sponsor the Community Contribution to Tourism Award and the Picture Perfect Award.”

List of Coca-Cola Coast Care Award Winners 2015

Award Winners:

Coca-Cola Coast Care Group

Love Your Lough (Newry, Mourne and Down District Council)

Coca-Cola Inland Waterway Group

TRAAD Wildlife & Conservation Club (Mid Ulster District Council)

Brighter Futures

Mill Strand Integrated Primary School (Causeway Coast and Glens District Council)

Better Business Partnership

Translink Downpatrick (Newry, Mourne and Down District Council)

Community Contribution to Tourism Award (Tourism Northern Ireland)

Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society (Ards and North Down District Council)

Youth in Action

James Burke, IWAI Newry and Portadown Branch (Newry, Mourne and Down District Council)

Local Hero

Dan Lavery, Longline Surf School (Causeway Coast and Glens District Council)

Picture Perfect (Tourism Northern Ireland)

David McKechnie

Recipients of Live Here Love Here Coca-Cola Community Grant Scheme

Environment Support Team (Causeway Coast and Glens/Mid and East Antrim)

Newry & Portadown Branch Inland Watwerway Association Ireland

2015 Small Grants Scheme Launches

Web Administrator   Fri 28 Aug 2015   updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016

Live Here Love Here pink logos

The second year of the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme will help communities, schools and groups to take practical action to improve their local environment and support the growth of civic pride throughout Northern Ireland.

The environmental charity, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful will be working with the Department of the Environment, Tourism Northern Ireland and local Councils to launch the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme, which is designed to tackle issues such as poor environmental quality, littering and dilapidation by encouraging volunteers to take practical action in their local communities. Interested groups can get more information and an application pack in this site's Small grants section.

The scheme forms part of the wider Live Here Love Here programme, which includes an innovative media campaign and the creation of a calendar of volunteering opportunities to encourage participation all year round.

The Small Grants Scheme is open to volunteer groups operating in participating Council areas:

  • Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
  • Ards and North Down Borough Council
  • Belfast City Council
  • Fermanagh and Omagh District Council
  • Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
  • Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (via Down Your Street programme)

Groups will need to complete a simple application form detailing how their project will improve their local environment or community through practical action. The deadline for applications is noon on 28th September 2015.

Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, says: “The work of proud local citizens who volunteer their precious time is, as funding cuts affect us all, increasingly vital to maintaining the quality of life we all want and expect. These small grants support practical action in communities and seek to grow a strong ‘can-do’ community spirit. By working together and encouraging everyone to take part, we can start to tackle the negative impact of littering and other environmental behaviours and create a cleaner, greener and more prosperous society.”

Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, said: “I very much welcome community groups and local organisations getting involved in protecting and promoting their local environment. The more they participate, the more clean and green their neighbourhoods will be. It is fitting therefore that my department continues to support the highly successful “Live Here Love Here” campaign, now in its second year.  By supporting the campaign my department is helping Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and local councils deliver clear tangible benefits for the local community through this excellent grant scheme.”

Stephen Finlay, Corporate Development Director at Tourism Northern Ireland, says: “A beautiful environment is part of the tourism fabric of Northern Ireland which our visitors greatly value.   Last year’s small grants programme enabled communities to take the lead in making positive changes in their neighbourhoods and deliver improvements around our coastline.  We are delighted to support the Small Grants Scheme once again and we are confident that the projects which are enabled by this fund will add to the positive perceptions and profile of our destination by presenting a cleaner, greener Northern Ireland"

Documents for download

Small Grants Scheme 2015 Application Form  

Frequently Asked Questions

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council helping to keep the Borough tidy

Web Administrator   Thu 09 Jul 2015   updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016

Big Spring Clean 2015, is an annual initiative supported by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

John, Carmel, Laura, Roisin, Davy, Kevin, Marion, Patricia, Ryan, Chloe

The Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe said: "The main object is to encourage and support local residents in carrying out a litter clean-up within their immediate neighbourhood, whilst at the same time raising awareness of items which are eligible for recycling."

As part of the 'big clean-up', staff from the Operations Directorate of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Ballymena Office, members of Glenravel & District Community and Residents' Association and other local residents undertook a clean-up within Cargan and Martinstown areas. They are pictured here, from left: John McAllister, Carmel Fyfe, Keep NI Beautiful Eco-schools Manager, Laura Crawley, Roisin Marron, Davy Gordon and Kevin Woodin both from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Marion Maguire and also getting stuck-in (front) Patricia Moran, Ryan Duffin and Chloe Brett.

Local councillor Paul Maguire, said: "Big Spring Clean events are planned throughout the year and any organisation that wishes to participate in cleaning up their area can get help from the Council through Environmental Health."

In addition to normal bin collection service, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council's Waste Services offers a bulky collection service for collection of large waste items, i.e. fridges, freezers, cookers etc. The contact telephone number for either is 0300 124 5000.

Get Into The Spirit Of The P&O Ferries Dalriada Festival

Web Administrator   Thu 09 Jul 2015   updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016

Marquees, generators, lighting, fencing, staging – with just over a week to go it's all hands on deck for staff and community volunteers as Glenarm Castle and Village gears up for one of Northern Ireland's biggest cultural family events - The 5th P&O Ferries Dalriada Festival in partnership with UTV, 18 - 25 July. After months of preparation it is anticipated that thousands of visitors will travel to Glenarm to take part in a very unique experience. If you are making you way to the festival this year then check out these interesting facts which will help get you into the festival spirit.

Dalriada festivals

Did you know?

  1. That the main event, the world famous Highland Games, 18 – 19th July, has been hosted at Glenarm Castle since 1996 and since then has attracted over half a million visitors! Next year will be the 20th Anniversary
  2. The Festival, now recognised as one of Northern Ireland's biggest cultural family events, is home to the world's first Chic Sheep Fashion show
  3. The official charity for the festival this year is Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful – Live Here Love Here. Volunteers will be on hand to help keep the festival and wider site tidy and they're encouraging visitors to help out by picking up litter
  4. The name Dalriada was a Gaelic over kingdom that included parts of western Scotland (roughly now Argyll and Lochaber) and Co Antrim.
  5. Previous musical artists on the evening music stage have included Ronan Keating, Sharon Corr, Nathan Carter, General Fiasco, The Priests and Duke Special. On Saturday 18th July the evening music concert will rock with nostalgia as Bay City Rollers starring Les McKeown take to the main stage along with Bagatelle, Hothouse Flowers and support from Rob Strong, Runabay and XOD dancers
  6. Glenarm Castle is the current home of the McDonnell Family (Lord and Lady Dunluce). There has been a Castle at Glenarm since 1242, when Hugh de Lacy, the Norman Earl of Ulster, granted the Glens of Antrim to another Norman, John Bisset, who had previously lived in Scotland but was exiled after killing a cousin at a tournament. The Bissets became known as the MacEoin Bissets of the Glens. In the 1390's their chieftain died leaving an only daughter, Marjory, who married John Mor MacDonnell.
  7. The annual Highland Games attracts approximately 25,000 people over two days.
  8. New to the Highland Games this year, and a major coup, is the County Antrim Pipe Band Championships which will feature numerous bands from across N.Ireland and Scotland.
  9. This year the Highland Games will see an expanded action packed programme of events including live wrestling, additional music stages, more local foods, pop-up restaurants, shopping, a new kids zone.
  10. The week long community events which take place after the Highland Games feature the largest range of sporting activities featured at any Festival in Northern Ireland. Events include beach mounted relay, Dalraida wipeout, bubbleball soccer tournament, kids duathlon, sprint triathlon, super endurocross, Dalriada 5k and 10k run, rowing and sailing regatta. Closing the festivities will be the ever spectacular rowing/sailing regatta, street fair, live music and fireworks finale.

Adrian Morrow, Festival Director, commented:

"It is hard to believe that the 5th P&O Ferries Dalraida Festival is almost upon us. We say it takes months of preparation but we are already planning next year's festival which will also be a landmark year at Glenarm Castle as it will be the 20th year of the Highland Games. We are very proud of our festival and it is testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff, volunteers and the people of Glenarm that thousands of visitors participate and leave wanting to return the following year. Our partners and sponsors, P&O Ferries, UTV, Tourism NI plus many more, are an essential part of our festival family and it is thanks to them that we continue to deliver a diverse and ever expanding programme every year. Every year we are building and striving to be better than the next and this year is no exception. We cannot wait to welcome all our visitors and hope that they will join us for our landmark year in 2016.

For further information including Highland Games day passes (book online and SAVE 20%), Saturday evening concert tickets (£28.50) and camping packages visit www.dalriadafestival.co.uk and www.ticketmaster.ie.

Moneyglass—4th annual 'BIG SPRING CLEAN' collects its biggest EVER haul of litter!

Web Administrator   Wed 27 May 2015   updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016

On Sunday 12th April the village of Moneyglass came alive with volunteers eager to clean up 'their stretch of road' as part of the annual BIG Spring Clean.

4th annual BIG SPRING CLEAN in Moneyglass

Around 100 local families turned out in force to participate in the 4th Annual "BIG Spring Clean" organised by St Ergnats GAC. Families and volunteers came together at St Ergnats club house, to collect equipment which was kindly donated by the new Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

The major clean-up commenced at 2pm, in a well co-ordinated manner. Each group continued collecting the roadside litter until 4pm, when a team of volunteer drivers collected almost 400 bags of litter and brought them back to the collection point at St Ergnats club grounds, to be collected by Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council the following day.

The event finished at 4pm with a well deserved cup of tea and refreshments in the club rooms, where everyone came together to reflect on what was described by all as a hugely successful community event.

Des Taggart, co-ordinator of St Ergnats BIG Spring Clean team, said "I am delighted with the huge support for our 4th Annual BIG Spring Clean year. This is such an important event in our community calendar; it not only helps improve the appearance of our local area but will hopefully educate everyone not to spoil the local countryside. I continue to be astonished by the large turnout of volunteers, most of whom were young kids, who collected a staggering 400 bags of rubbish.'

In total almost 20 miles of local roads were cleaned as part of the event. These included Roguery Road, Ballymatoskerty Road, Crosskeys Road, Moss Road, Loup Road, Cloghogue Road, Brecart Road, Loughbeg Road, Ballyscullion Road, Taylorstown Road, Grange Road, Culnafay Road, Duneane Road and Doone Road. There were some common items found during the clean-up such as fast food containers and energy drinks containers, however some of the strange items included traffic cones, a television, a hoover and numerous other household items.

Nicola Murray, Community Development Officer from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said, "It is great to see so many people turn out for such a worthwhile community event, the BIG Spring Clean has become a regular date in the calendar for St Ergnats GAC with the numbers involved increasing year on year; however, it is sad to say that the amount of litter also increases. This community show real pride for where they come from spreading the Live Here Love Here message through their actions, they are already planning their BIG Spring Clean 2016."

Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council kindly collected all the refuse bags the following day, and later confirmed that the roadside mess from the Moneyglass BIG Spring Clean amounted to a massive 2.3 tonnes in weight, which was quite an incredible effort, from all of the volunteers who participated. In total, the Moneyglass volunteers have collected approx 6.8 tonnes of roadside rubbish over the past 4 years.

St Ergnats GAC would like to thank every family in the community who participated in the BIG Spring Clean and especially the main sponsor (Boyds Service Stations) and all the caterers, litter collectors, organising committee, photographers and drivers who made the day so successful. We would also thank Cllr Henry Cushinan and Cllr Brian Duffin of Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council who came along last Sunday to support the event.

If you would like to learn more about the BIG Spring Clean or to show that you Live Here and Love Here please visit http://www.liveherelovehere.org or contact Nicola Murray at nicola.murray@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org.

Ten Blue Flags and a 25th anniversary celebration for Northern Irish beaches

Web Administrator   Thu 21 May 2015   updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016

Northern Ireland's stunning coastline has long been hailed as a match of anything in the world, but now Benone beach on the north coast is celebrating an achievement very few places in the world can match, having just claimed its 25th consecutive Blue Flag. The international award, which recognises first class facilities and the highest standards of water quality, was presented to Benone and nine other beaches as well as two marinas at a ceremony on Portstewart Strand.

A further ten beaches have received the UK-wide Seaside Award, which recognises resort and rural beaches with good water quality. After a difficult summer season last year, with heavy rainfall affecting water quality on a number of occasions, this is an excellent result.

Summer time and ready for ice-creams

Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, the environmental charity which administers the awards locally, said:

"A Blue Flag means excellence; that we can proudly say nearly half of the designated bathing waters in Northern Ireland are world class is quite an achievement. With a further ten receiving Seaside Awards, including for those beaches in more secluded beauty spots, we once again have a fantastic coastal offering for everyone who lives here and loves here as well as our growing numbers of visitors."

Minister for the Environment, Mark H Durkan, said:

"These Blue Flag and Seaside Awards show the dedication that coastal councils and the National Trust contribute to providing first class, safe and enjoyable beaches.  The coast of Northern Ireland is an amazing place to visit, and these Awards demonstrate how much work has gone into promoting our excellent beaches.

"The Good Beach Summits, which we initiated in DOE, have helped to improve standards at beaches around our coast.  Fantastic progress has been made and I trust that next year even more beaches and marinas will apply for these awards."

Blue Flag beaches offer the highest standard of visitor facilities including toilets, lifeguards and first aid during peak hours, and disabled access. In order to promote an inclusive atmosphere for families with small children, activities such as windsurfing are zoned and access for dogs is restricted on most Blue Flag beaches. Seaside Awards Resort beaches often have many of the same facilities as Blue Flag beaches, while Rural beaches have fewer facilities and are more unspoilt in their character. Dogs are allowed on most Seaside Award beaches as long as they are kept on leads.

Summer time and ready for cake

Colin Neill, Tourism NI Board member said:

"Northern Ireland's stunning beaches are amongst our greatest tourism assets, and keeping them clean and safe is of the utmost importance to us.  By driving standards and safeguarding our environment, these awards play a vital role in helping to showcase the natural beauty of our coastline, and in improving the overall visitor experience of incoming tourists.  I am delighted that this year Northern Ireland boasts an impressive number of award winning beaches, offering an excellent choice of clean and safe places for our visitors to enjoy this summer."

With weeks of fine weather in April and May sparking thoughts of a 'barbeque summer', beaches around Northern Ireland are gearing up for an influx of visitors. To help everyone find their ideal award winning beach or marina Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Tourism NI have launched a visitor map which lists the facilities offered at each beach and also includes suggestions for activities or attractions to make for a memorable day out. The guide will be available online, via all Tourist Information Centres, at Award beaches and from local councils.

David Meade adds a Little Magic to Clean Coast Week

Web Administrator   Wed 06 May 2015   updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016

Northern Ireland's very own mentalist David Meade has once again shown that he Lives Here and Loves Here by launching 'Coca-Cola Coast Care'. This joint initiative between Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland supports volunteers who clean up beaches, rivers and loughs around the province.

David Meade, Gillian Shields and Nicola Murray

The Programme supports local people who are passionate about caring for Northern Ireland's coastline and inland waterways.  They show they Live Here and Love Here by carrying out practical work in a bid to reduce the impact of litter and tackling wider environmental issues.

With the onset of summer more people are hitting the coast.  Thankfully, most people take their rubbish home but a thoughtless few are leaving their litter lying.  This spoils the visitor experience for others. In 2014 we worked with over 4,000 individuals who joined in Coast Care activities including cleaning up other people's rubbish.

This year the Coca-Cola Clean Coast Week will take place between 8th and 17th May with activities ranging from cross-border events along Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough with An Taisce, Rock pool Rambles with Ulster Wildlife to a Golf Themed clean up with Tourism Northern Ireland. For a full schedule of events please visit http://www.liveherelovehere.org.

All Clean Coast Week activities added to the Live Here Love Here website will also contribute to Clean Europe Week as part of this annual Europe-wide clean-up event.

Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said, "Coast Care volunteers really are setting the standard for how we want where we live to look. Of course most people don't drop litter, but it takes a special person to care enough to clean up other people's rubbish.  This hugely important initiative with Coca Cola is ensuring these special individuals can play their part in helping us all, whether local or tourist, to enjoy our world class coast and waterways."

2015 will be the eighth year in which Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Coca-Cola have worked together in a bid to make our shores a cleaner and safer place.

Gillian Shields, Community Investment Manager for Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland said, "Coca-Cola is committed to investing in the local environment, protecting the natural beauty of our beaches and encouraging community participation in preserving our landscape. The Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week emphasises the important role that we can all play, in conserving our marine environment. We are delighted to once again partner with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful in support of this initiative, where all across the country, local communities will be coming together to celebrate the wonderful natural resource that is our extensive coastline."

If you would like to make a difference in your area whether it be coastal or an inland waterway then you can get involved by getting in touch with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful by ringing 02890 736 920 or emailing nicola.murray@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org. Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful will be able to support your clean ups with equipment and other means of assistance and you may even be nominated for a prestigious award when the summer is over!

Schedule of Events for Coca-Cola Clean Coast Week 2015

Schedule of events for the Coca-cola Clean coast week

It's Time for The BIG Spring Clean!

Web Administrator   Fri 03 Apr 2015   updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful is asking community groups and individuals from all over Northern Ireland to register to take part in the BIG Spring Clean. Together we can all do one small thing, such as cleaning up, to show that we live here and we love here.

Logo for the Keep Northern Ireland beautiful Big Spring clean campaign

The charity aims to build a national movement for change through the civic pride campaign, Live Here Love Here. Live Here Love Here draws together Government, local authorities, Tourism Northern Ireland, community groups and individual volunteers. Together, they are forming an unstoppable force for change on litter by cleaning grot spots, by sprucing up overgrown spaces and by changing attitudes to make littering unacceptable.

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful's BIG Spring Clean brings a focus on litter during the month of April, enabling businesses, schools, community groups and individuals to unite in common cause to clean up and to Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

In 2014 The BIG Spring Clean:

  • Saw a staggering 105,819 people lift litter – more than double the amount of volunteers from the previous year
  • Over 127 tonnes of waste was removed from our neighbourhoods, beaches and countryside.

Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said: "We look forward to another exciting BIG Spring Clean, we can all get out and do our bit to show that we live here and we love here.  We're very proud of the hard work all of the volunteers put in and it is truly excellent to see that local environmental quality is being improved with the support of schools, volunteers, sports groups and local businesses within the community."

Dr Humphreys added: "We live in a great country, with some fantastic communities and world class open spaces, but too often the carelessness of others means that litter plagues our environment. Our BIG Spring Clean is the opportunity for everyone in Northern Ireland to join the fightback against litter.

"We want to call on everyone who lives here and who loves here to join us. Let's not pretend that we can ignore the scale of the litter problem we face. We can all play a part in cleaning up our treasured local spaces by taking part in a BIG Spring Clean."

You can register your BIG Spring Clean online at http://www.liveherelovehere.org and when you register your event online we will send you out a FREE clean up kit to help with your clean up.

Why Singapore banned chewing gum

Web Administrator   Mon 30 Mar 2015   updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016

Lee Kuan Yew, is famed as the man who turned Singapore from a small port into a global trading hub. But he also insisted on tidiness and good behaviour - and personified the country's ban on chewing gum. What was it about gum he so disliked?

Chewing gum stuck to a person's show

For a while after the gum ban was introduced in 1992 it was all foreign journalists wanted to talk about, Lee Kuan Yew complained later, in conversation with US writer Tom Plate. That and caning, as a form of punishment.

The ban remains one of the best-known aspects of life in Singapore, along with the country's laws against litter, graffiti, jaywalking, spitting, expelling "mucous from the nose" and urinating anywhere but in a toilet. (If it's a public toilet, you are legally required to flush it.)

When Singapore became independent in 1965 it was a tiny country with few resources, so Lee, the country's first prime minister, hatched a survival plan. This hinged on making the city state a "first-world oasis in a third-world region".

Before very long, Singapore was outstripping other developed countries in terms of its cleanliness, clipped lawns, and efficient transport system. The Cambridge-educated Lee, it seems, was aiming for perfection.

"For many years as a visiting columnist, I too chewed over the puzzle of the chewing gum conundrum, but came to understand that the tendency to stick the remains of the gum in every which place was viewed by the authorities as a palpable attack on Singapore's ambition to be perfect," writes Plate, in his book Giants of Asia: Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew.

"That is, it was anti-utopian. It was gumming up the works. As far as LKY and his team were concerned, the yucky habit, commonplace in the old days, was a palpable enemy of progress. The way to edge forward toward utopia was simple: simply outlaw chewing gum."

By the time the gum ban was implemented, Lee had completed 31 years as prime minister, and had become "senior minister", a big power behind the scenes.

"We were called a nanny state," he told the BBC's Peter Day in 2000. "But the result is that we are today better behaved and we live in a more agreeable place than 30 years ago."

At that time, Lee was pushing for a "new burst of creativity in business" and Day "hesitantly" suggested that chewing gum stuck to the pavements might be a sign that the desired new spirit of creativity had arrived.

Lee grimaced.

"Putting chewing gum on our subway train doors so they don't open, I don't call that creativity. I call that mischief-making," Lee replied. "If you can't think because you can't chew, try a banana."

Lee felt there was a public policy solution to everything, Plate says, even that gum on the pavement, or the doors of the "mass rapid transit" trains. "He was what I call a pragmatic utopian," Plate says. "He woke up in the morning and said, 'How can I make it better today?'"

Gum is, anyway, "largely legally chewable" nowadays, Plate says.

It has always been legal to bring small amounts into the country for one's own use.

Since 2004 - as a result of the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement - pharmacists and dentists have also been allowed to sell "therapeutic" gum, to customers with a medical prescription. This includes standard sugar-free gum.

You'd still face a steep fine for spitting out the chewed gum and leaving it as litter.

"We joke about these policies... we Singaporeans describe Singapore as a 'fine city' - a tongue-in-cheek reference to the many fines that can be imposed for various types of social misconduct," says Eugene Tan, an associate professor of law at the Singapore Management University.

And despite the change in the law in 2004, "one would be hard-pressed to find people chewing gum in Singapore," Tan says.

He personally doesn't miss it.

"The footpaths look a lot nicer without the ugly gum marks," he says.

A Singaporean student studying in London, Pei-yi Yu, also sees advantages in going gum-free.

"I have often had the unpleasant experience of getting my body parts into contact with both fresh and stale chewing gum in lecture theatres and classrooms," across the UK, he says.

In Singapore "we have a clean environment" he adds - thanks to Lee.

Plate, who has visited Singapore more than a dozen times, has never had any problem complying with the law, though he says his Berkeley-educated wife was tempted to walk on the grass. Singapore is "excessively cleaned, overpriced and over-policed," he says - not that different from his own home town, Beverly Hills in California. 

By Elle Metz

BBC News Magazine

McDonald's Calls on the Local Community to Help Spring Clean

Web Administrator   Mon 30 Mar 2015   updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016

McDonald's across Northern Ireland is calling on members of its local community to join the Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Big Spring Clean taking place throughout April.

Two members of staff ready to help spring clean

McDonald's is delighted to be participating in the Big Spring Clean for the 5th consecutive year and as part of this year's effort McDonald's would like to unite with members of the community in a clean-up operation to rid the streets of unsightly litter.  If there is an area which you think could would benefit from a spruce up please email suggestions to info@aikenpr.com by Thursday 9th April.

James Nevitt from McDonald's said: "The Big Spring Clean Campaign is an effective way of making a positive difference to neighbourhoods and in previous years it has been inspiring to see members of the community join forces to take action on litter that damages our environment. At McDonald's we believe it is important for everyone to help protect and preserve the environment for future generations and we're committed to finding ways to reduce, reuse and recycle in our restaurants and across our business."

Dr Ian Humphreys, CEO of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, said: "We believe that the BIG Spring Clean is an effective way of making a positive difference to various localities across Northern Ireland and showing that we live here and we love here."

"It's inspiring to see organisations like McDonald's join forces with the communities they serve to take action on litter that damages our environment. I'm delighted that all 27 McDonald's restaurants in Northern Ireland will be taking part in this year's campaign and I wish them every success for their clean ups."

McDonald's has supported the Big Spring Clean Campaign since 2010. At the 2014 BIG Spring Clean, McDonald's staff across Northern Ireland took part in 26 events, collecting over 2 tonnes of discarded waste by cleaning rivers, forests, beaches and housing estates.  As well as the larger-scale Big Spring Clean events, staff at every McDonald's restaurant also patrol the streets around each store at least three times a day to collect all litter that has been discarded, regardless of its origin.

Live Here Love Here programme launches

Web Administrator   Fri 30 Jan 2015   updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful is calling on everyone across Northern Ireland to show their support to the new 'Live Here Love Here' campaign which has been created to encourage the public to embrace their civic pride and take personal responsibility towards the environment and their local community to create positive change.

An estimated c£7m is lost annually in tourism spend due to litter on our coastline and with the cost of cleaning Northern Ireland's streets and countryside at £21 per person the project is seeking to drive behavioural change and empower the wider community.  

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful working in partnership with the Department of the Environment, Tourism Northern Ireland and twelve Local Councils* is aiming to achieve cleaner streets; reduce dog fouling; chewing gum and graffiti; improve use of derelict buildings and see the careful development of greenspace.

Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan pledging his personal support for the campaign said: "The environment is one of our greatest assets and one that deserves to be cherished, protected and enhanced. It belongs to all of us and it is right and proper that we should all embrace that responsibility.

"Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful has an enviable track record in encouraging the involvement of the community and my department is proud to be part of this initiative. Working with and empowering people to find innovative ways of creating positive changes that both benefit the environment and the local economy is at the very heart of my vision for the North.  I would encourage everyone to join me in pledging support to the Live Here Love Here campaign."

Belfast Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon hosted the launch event at the City Hall today and commented: "The Live Here Love Here campaign has been developed to encourage people in Northern Ireland to take pride in where they come from - it is very much the public's campaign and seeks to bring about positive changes that we all want to see in our communities.  As one of the partners of this campaign, Belfast City Council is eager to help build momentum to create really positive outcomes sure to benefit all."

Speaking at the launch of the campaign Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said "In Northern Ireland we are lucky - around every corner are stunning landscapes which offer picturesque views and through this new campaign we want the public to embrace their sense of civic pride and play their role in both improving their neighbourhoods and helping to protect the environment. 

"The stark reality is that we suffer a £40m bill for street cleaning per year. The bill for vandalism is £69 million and for graffiti £38 million. If we can move people away from these behaviours and act to redress them, there are huge gains to be won creating opportunities to invest for our future.  Working together we can build that sense of community pride that will make our neighbourhoods so much better. We would encourage everyone to show their commitment today through the website www.liveherelovehere.org and make that one positive change to encourage people across Northern Ireland to show that they love where they live by helping out in their local communities."

Stephen Finlay, Corporate Development Director at Tourism Northern Ireland commented, "Tourism Northern Ireland is proud to support the 'Live Here, Love Here' initiative.   Our visitors value a clean, beautiful environment so it is essential that we take care of our greatest asset in order to attract visitors and increase spend to the local economy.  We share Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful's vision of a clean, green Northern Ireland.  Practical initiatives like the 'Live Here, Love Here' Campaign will help increase civic pride and deliver a pristine environment for our tourists to enjoy."

A wide range of local personalities, consumers and businesses have already shown their support for this campaign. View their thoughts on Northern Ireland and the Live Here Love Here campaign in this video.

As well as supporting local volunteering, the campaign is providing small grants to community groups across Northern Ireland to help them build their community spirit with the next round of funding expected in late Spring 2015.

Deadline extended for small grants scheme

Web Administrator   Tue 02 Sep 2014   updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016

The scheme, launched by environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, helps volunteers to take practical action to improve their local environment and support the growth of civic pride.

The Live Here Love Here small grants scheme is run by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful in association with the Department of the Environment, Tourism Northern Ireland and twelve local Councils. The scheme is designed to tackle issues such as poor environmental quality, littering and dilapidation particularly in coastal areas, by encouraging volunteers to take practical action in their local communities.

The scheme forms part of the wider 'Live Here, Love Here' programme, which includes an innovative media campaign, due to launch at the beginning of next year, and the creation of a calendar of volunteering opportunities to encourage participation all year round. 

The small grants scheme is open to volunteer groups operating in participating Council areas:

Antrim Borough Council

Ards Borough Council

Ballymena Borough Council

Belfast City Council

Carrickfergus Borough Council

Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council

Fermanagh District Council

Larne Borough Council

Limavady Borough Council

Newry and Mourne District Council

Newtownabbey Borough Council

Strabane District Council

The small grants scheme is open to constituted volunteer groups taking action to improve their local environment or community. The deadline for applications has been extended to 12noon on 10 October 2014.

Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, comments: "This scheme will help volunteers to take practical action in their local communities to improve their local environment, how it is managed and support the growth of civic pride in communities. By working together and encouraging everyone to take part, we can start to tackle the negative impact of littering and other environmental behaviours and create a cleaner, greener, more prosperous society."

Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, says: "Citizens quite rightly place most importance on their local environment. A clean, healthy local environment is a source of both civic pride and individual wellbeing. It is fitting that my Department joins with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Tourism Northern Ireland, and local councils to support a grant scheme to help citizens and community groups take practical action in their neighbourhoods, which will restore and enhance the environment and generate a great sense of pride."

Laura McCorry, Director of Corporate Development at Tourism Northern Ireland, says: "Earlier this year, we witnessed incredible levels of community spirit and civic pride in the run up to the Giro d'Italia. It was inspirational to see what could be achieved through local communities working together in their own areas."

"This scheme provides an opportunity to harness that community spirit and channel it into projects that can make positive improvements within local communities. We know that our visitors value a clean, and green natural environment so we are delighted to be supporting the Small Grants Scheme which we are confident will make an important contribution towards achieving a cleaner, greener Northern Ireland."

For more information on the 'Live Here, Love Here' small grants scheme and to download an application pack please visit the Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful website at www.keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.

Final call for small grants scheme applications

Web Administrator   Fri 08 Aug 2014   updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016

The scheme aims to help volunteers take practical action to improve their local environment and support the growth of civic pride in their local community.

The environmental charity is working with the Department of the Environment, Tourism Northern Ireland and twelve participating Councils to offer the 'Live Here, Love Here' small grants scheme which is designed to tackle issues such as poor environmental quality, littering and dilapidation particularly in coastal areas, by encouraging volunteers to take practical action in their local communities.

The scheme forms part of the wider 'Live Here, Love Here' programme, which includes an innovative media campaign, due to launch at the beginning of next year, and the creation of a calendar of volunteering opportunities to encourage participation all year round. 

The small grants scheme is open to volunteer groups operating in participating Council areas:

Antrim Borough Council

Ards Borough Council

Ballymena Borough Council

Belfast City Council

Carrickfergus Borough Council

Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council

Fermanagh District Council

Larne Borough Council

Limavady Borough Council

Newry and Mourne District Council

Newtownabbey Borough Council

Strabane District Council

The small grants scheme is open to groups taking action to improve their local environment or community. The deadline for applications is 12noon on 22 September 2014. Groups will need to complete a simple application form to apply for a grant.

Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, comments: "This scheme will help volunteers to take practical action in their local communities to improve their local environment, how it is managed and support the growth of civic pride in communities. By working together and encouraging everyone to take part, we can start to tackle the negative impact of littering and other environmental behaviours and create a cleaner, greener, more prosperous society."

Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, says: "Citizens quite rightly place most importance on their local environment. A clean, healthy local environment is a source of both civic pride and individual wellbeing.  It is fitting that my Department joins with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Tourism Northern Ireland, and local councils to support a grant scheme to help citizens and community groups take practical action in their neighbourhoods, which will restore and enhance the environment and generate a great sense of pride."

Laura McCorry, Director of Corporate Development at the Tourism Northern Ireland, says: "Earlier this year, we witnessed incredible levels of community spirit and civic pride in the run up to the Giro d'Italia.  It was inspirational to see what could be achieved through local communities working together in their own areas.  

"This scheme provides an opportunity to harness that community spirit and channel it into projects that can make positive improvements within local communities.  We know that our visitors value a clean, and green natural environment so we are delighted to be supporting the Small Grants Scheme which we are confident will make an important contribution towards achieving a cleaner, greener Northern Ireland."

For more information on the 'Live Here, Love Here' small grants scheme and to download an application pack please visit the Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful website at www.keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org or Facebook page.