Archive for February, 2009

Ashley Dowling writes:

I have concerns about  the rate of erosion at brittas bay during this
winter of 08/09. I am a user of the beach weekly and have notice a
 huge acceleration in the destruction of the dunes. I think the
litter situation is clearly under control but was wondering if
 there is any news of erosion and the effect of the windmills on
the beach. Could it be possible that the sea is dumping its load
of sand behind the windmills and then it has extra erosive power 
to eat away at the beach inshore. It seems that meteres of dunes
 on the seaward side have dissapeared
and the beach is changing at an alarming rate. Has any study
been carried out or is there any information of an EIS and its
findings to do with the effects of the windmills on the local

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Karin Dubsky from COASTWATCH has advised us to be vigilant for oil on the beach following the recent leak and report any findings to either COASTWATCH, the council or me Paul at 087-6678569 so that remedial measures can be put in place

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Hello All,


We are really starting to make steady progress as a group now and after this months cleanup we have collected a staggering 604 bags of rubbish since setting up the voluntary group in April 2007!

1: February Cleanup:

Just emailing to thank all those of turned up for our February cleanup which was a fabulous success. The skip (once again kindly sponsored by Greenstar) was filled sky high and we were able to take TVs, DVDs, and Stereo players amongst other things off of the River banks. This just does not make sense as they can be recycled for free at the Bray Recycling Centre on the Boghall Road . People need to be educated more about this so that they will not ruin the towns beautiful areas. It takes just as much effort to drive down to these secluded areas and dump these items there as it does to drive up to the recycling centre and leave them there!!!

We had 25 volunteers out on the day from 12-3pm and we also had a very special guest…a professional cameraman working on RTÉs environmental programme entitled “The Enforcers” which is due to be aired during May and it is hoped that Bray Coastcare Group will feature for about 5 minutes in one of the 30 minute programmes which mainly focuses on paid litter wardens and paid environmental workers throughout Ireland. I will keep you informed of what date it will be aired on.

This month we moved our attentions to a new area as well as our usual spot at the end of Ravenswell Road . The new area is the riverside walkway on the southern banks of the River Dargle just below the Bray Tourism Offices and Royal Hotel.

This area was an absolute disgrace and I will not sicken you with some of the things we found. The area has obviously been neglected for years and let get to such a state that there was no longer access to the once beautiful riverside walkway due to the overgrown briars and mounds of dumped rubbish.

Volunteers not only picked up litter but used our recently purchased petrol powered strimmer to cut back severely overgrown briars and bushes to reveal the pathway in certain places. Although the area is much better there is a still lot of work to do and we intend to spend our March and possibly even our April cleanups down at this area.

The idea is that Bray Coastcare Group works on these areas and essentially gives them back to the public to use in a responsible way. I would also like to think that once we get these areas clean that the local town council will do their very best to keep these areas clean by looking after the areas and not letting them get to the neglected and unsightly state that they once were in.

2: Bray Litter Task Force:

As some of you may know Bray Coastcare Group are on the Bray litter Task Force Committee as part of the Community and Recreational sub-committee.

Last night ouur sub-committee held a meeting and some very good progress was made with ideas aired between the members of the committee.

Some of the main ideas included:

A National Spring Clean Day for the WHOLE town of Bray :
The idea would be to get all residents associations and all anti-litter groups and essentially everyone who cares about the state of our town out on the same day (National Spring Clean Day) to help to clean the whole town up. It is hoped that Bray Town Council will provide bags and gloves and I am trying to see if it is possible to get litter pickers from the likes of An Taisce for these different groups who may not have any. In order to make Bray a clean place everyone needs to take responsibility for their own area and I think this would be a great way of kick starting that attitude!

Green Schools Town – Bray:

One idea I suggested was for both the Education and Community sub-committees of the Bray Litter Task Force to work will all the Primary and Secondary Schools in Bray in order to help and support them in setting up anti-litter groups for their schools and eventually work towards the future goal of getting an An Taisce Green Flag Award (if they haven’t already got one) for the school. The hope would be that eventually all schools in Bray would have a Green Flag and not only do their bit to keep Bray clean but also have a recycling system in the school and a focus on environmental education for the pupils too.
I believe the young people are the future and it is crucial to educate them about environmental issues and littering in order for attitudes to change and for Bray to become a clean town.

I hope to keep you all up to date with all the progress made by the Bray Litter Task Force and I truly am excited about the route the town is now taking in order to clean up its act.

That’s all for now,

God Bless,

Séamus Connor,
Chairman – Bray Coastcare Group.

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ames Callery wrote:

Hi to all,

We have got a date and venue for the  Tidy Towns network meeting. It is in Aughrim on the 28th of February at the Pavilion. Many thanks to Aughrim Tidy Towns who are going to host us on what is a busy market day. This year we start with a walk around the town because last year we ran out of time in Enniskerry on the day.  A pity because there was so much to see in the town. Weather will be the big unknown on the day. We recommend raingear and brollys for the day as the walk will go ahead unless the weather is really bad. Any of you who have visited the market will know that it has excellent local produce so I would recommend arriving early with your reusable shopping bag. You may also find a bargain in Aughrim Tidy Towns innovative charity shop also located in the Pavilion. I am also inviting representatives of the Coastcare groups in the county as I am sure some of the agenda will be of interest to them and know that they have developed highly effective strategies for engaging volunteers

Please let us know in advance if you or other members of your group will be attending so that we can have an idea of numbers.

Regards and hope to see many of you on the day,

11.30 Meeting point at market in the pavilion. 11.45 Walk around Aughrim. 1.00 Lunch 2.00 Heritage and biodiversity signage and notice boards, by Deirdre Burns. 2.40 Recruiting and engaging volunteers, by the Wicklow Volunteer Service. 3.20 Green Business Programme, by myself and Moira Byrne
2009  A year to develop composting,  by myself and Moira Byrne
Talks and work shops available for the public and local businesses, by myself and Moira Byrne 4.00 Finish

Jim Callery
Assistant Environmental Awareness Officer
Wicklow County Council

The Environment – Too Good to Waste
P Please consider the Environment before printing this email.


Hi All
I wont be able to make the Tidy Towns Network in Aughrim referred to in the attachment from Jim Callery from Wicklow County Council’s Environmental Awareness Office.He includes an invitation to the Coastcare groups.As they have been so good to our group with regard to grant aid, posterting etc, I think someone from the Brittas Bay Coastcare Group should represent us on the day.
Due to a prior engagement to which I am committed, A Rural Science conference in Mayo that day, I will be uinavailable to attend. Also as the 28th is the last saturday of the month when our scheduled beachclean is due, I will be unavailble for that event also. There have been impromptu beachcleans to compensate the recent cancellations which has left the beach reasonably tidy looking, however if anyone feels like doing one on the day, go ahead. Prepaid bags donated by Arklow Waste and available from me will be collected by Arklow Waste outside my house on Wednsday morning.
If no-one is available the beachclean can be postponed till the following month when we began our regular beachcleans last year
All the best
Paul, Chairperson, Brittas Bay Coastcare Group.

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Hello All,

This email is a special one, and trust me I didnt expect to have to send it!
First of all, can I on behalf of all within Bray Coastcare Group thank absolutly everyone involved in any and all ways with our volunteering activities. FAIR PLAY!

Since the seed was planted for the group in April 2007 the group has expanded at an unexpected rapid rate. We now have over 110 volunteers on the emailing volunteer list.

This weekend (Saturday 12-3pm) RTÉ are sending out a production crew to film Bray Coastcare Group and highlight the brilliant work we all do.

The programme entitled “The Enforcers” is 1 of six 30 minute weekly enviromental programmes which are intended to be aired this May 2009.

I am personally very proud and am privilaged that RTÉ have been in touch with our voluntary group. It just shows you that anyone can make a difference. Certain people felt strongly about the beautiful coastal areas of Bray and decided to volunteer to make a difference, these efforts have not gone unnoticed locally, and now, nationally!!! 



So here is a reminder:


WHEN: 12  – 3PM (Although RTÉ will be filming from 9am onwards)

WHERE: Meeting at the anchor at Bray Harbour.

God Bless,

Séamus Connor,
Chairman – Bray Coastcare Group.

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History of Brittas Bay

Beachgoers might be interested in the following historical perspective of previous footprints in the sands of the Wicklow coastline

The Wicklow beaches are steeped in history. The earliest signs of human activity in Ireland are recorded from the discovery of flint scatters at Ennereilly strand between Brittas Bay and Arklow.

Arklow Wicklow and places between were landing sites for Christian missionaries. St Patrick and a group of monks attempted to land at Arklow but were repelled during a fight from which one monk is reputed to have had a tooth knocked out. They set sail for Wicklow where they received a kinder reception and the injured monk known as Manntain or the toothless one built a church. A group of clergy were already established in Threemilewater just north of Brittas Bay where the ruins of a church still exist. Wicklow Arklow, Kilcoole and Greystones were subject to Viking invasions from which settlements were established.

A path from the beach (no longer accessible) leads to Dunganstown Castle which was alternatively the home of the Dungan family, the Knights Hospitaller who were Crusaders and the O’Byrne Clan. A descendant of the O’Byrne’s the late J.T.O’Byrne, County Engineer for Wicklow told me many years ago that there was rumours of a tunnel from the castle to Jacks Hole.

Harsh custom and excise laws encouraged smuggling activity during the 18th century. A noted pirate, Captain Jack White operated from the Brittas Bay area. The site of his home is known as Jacks Hole which has a secluded beach. He distributed his booty at a coach inn on the main Dublin Wexford road known as Jack Whites Inn which is also reputed to be the meeting place of another disreputable motley crew known as the Brittas Bay Coastcare Group.

Jack White was eventually apprehended tried, and as was the custom taken to the cliffs at Ardinairy hanged and his body thrown into the sea. Let us hope the Coastcare Group are spared a similar fate.

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Green Communities

A Cara,


An Taisce, in partnership with Keep Wales Tidy, is developing a new environmental programme called Green Communities. Green Communities is designed to encourage groups to actively enhance local biodiversity, while also minimising the carbon footprint of their activities.


As your group is already actively involved in community based environmental work we would be delighted if you could come on board and help develop this programme over the next couple of years


It is envisioned that the programme will be very straightforward. As mentioned above the two main aspects are carbon footprinting of group activities and enhancing the local biodiversity of your areas. The carbon footprinting will be done by undertaking a simple review of existing activities and reducing their carbon footprint where possible. The biodiversity aspect of the programme will firstly involve your group identifying the main habitats in your area by carrying out a simple habitat survey. Then once important habitats have been identifies groups can then decide on a number of actions designed to enhance these areas.


Groups need not worry about the technical aspects of the programme as An Taisce will be on hand to help. We will also facilitate group’s actions and provide training if required. In addition groups can receive grants of up to €500 yearly towards their activities.


To register your interest in the programme and obtain a Green Communities starter pack please reply to this email giving your Name, Group Name (if any), Address, and contact details. Alternatively ring Emlyn Cullen or Deirdre McGovren on 01 4002202


Green Community is an INTERREG IV funded programme


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