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Coalisland canal rubbish putting wildlife in danger

WALKERS along Coalisland Canal have been greeted with the sight of rubbish thrown into the water in recent weeks which is endangering wildlife.

A photograph posted on the ‘Friends of Coalisland’ social media page, showed the water course practically blocked with tyres and other debris at the High Bridge close to Derrytresk. Local conservationist Plunkett Scullion who has photographed wildlife extensively in the area said he has been reporting the dumping of debris in the canal “for years”.

Mr Scullion said, “There is all sorts of rubbish being thrown into the canal including tyres, bottles, cans, balls, cardboard …. it is endless, all the rubbish of the day.

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“People just disregard it with no thought at all. It destroys the wildlife. I belong to an environmental group and we have documented the wildlife and captured it on camera.

‘We have taken pictures of otters along the canal as well as kingfishers, swans, ducks and up to 40 types of birds. They are all put in danger by rubbish and it is so frustrating to see it is still happening,”

Local Independent councillor Dan Kerr reported the latest pile-up of rubbish on the waterway to the Council and DfI Rivers.

He said, “DfI gave me an assurance they will remove it. Coalisland Canal is a great local asset enjoyed by hundreds of walkers, runners, cyclists and various groups.

“I would encourage residents and users of the pathway to respect it and take their rubbish home or use the bins provided.
“There is a lot of history attached to the canal and it is a shame to see it in this state. It is a total eyesore when rubbish is discarded along the path and in the water.”

Cllr Kerr also re-iterated Mr Scullion’s concerns, adding, “The rubbish is a danger to wildlife which greatly enhances the canal way.”

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