Partnership working to help biodiversity on the Lagan Towpath and the River Lagan

December 17, 2021

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is delighted to launch its new Water Quality project to improve the water quality within various council sites including parts of the River Lagan and Towpath.

Councillor Sharon Skillen, Chair of Leisure & Community Development Committee and Vice- Chair Councillor Thomas Beckett joined students and staff from SERC, Lisburn, officers from DAERA Water Quality Management Unit, Parks & Amenities staff and Lagan Valley Regional Park to remove harmful waste from along the Lagan Towpath and the Lagan River itself.  This waste has a detrimental impact on local biodiversity.

The project is being funded by the council and the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) as part of its Environment Fund. The Environment fund is primarily funded by the carrier bag levy (charge on carrier bags in shops).

Councillor Sharon Skillen, speaking about the project said: “As a council we are committed to improving the water quality across many of our sites. This involves working with partners to complete studies into the existing water quality and ecological surveys to highlight environmental issues. I would like to thank our eco-conscious SERC students for helping to improve the local area near our civic headquarters.  Six bin bags of litter were collected in a short period of time.”

Councillor Thomas Beckett added: “Through great team work we were able to clean up a section of the Lagan towpath, starting from Lagan Valley Island and running to the children’s play park at Huguenot.  Thank you to our canoeists who helped removed waste and debris from the water.”

Ben Hayward, student of Foundation Learning at SERC Lisburn campus and avid environmentalist said: “I volunteered with the SERC Eco Committee who partnered with Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council to carry out a litter pick along the Lagan towpath. I was really shocked and saddened at the amount of litter and dog litter bags left behind by the public. Luckily, we filled a lot of bin bags and did a great job of leaving the towpath much cleaner. I hope in the future members of the public will use the bins provided and will support the effort to protect the environment.”