A machete, metal road signs, a camping stove and fourteen bags of rubbish were among an eclectic pile of junk fished from the historic and picturesque Enagh Lough by a team of environmentally conscious volunteers recently.
The items were recovered after members of the Enagh Youth Forum helped organise the major clean-up at Enagh Lough.
It was supported by members of the public from Strathfoyle and Maydown and safety cover was provided by Foyle Search and Rescue.
Dessie McCrystal from Derry City and Strabane District Council also provided the volunteers with litter pickers, bags and gloves.
Paul Hughes from Enagh Youth Forum said the young people enjoyed participating in this clean up and it was great to see their commitment to preserving and protecting the local wildlife and environment.
Mr Hughes called for the ‘restoration of the Faughan environment’ in the wake of the local initiative.
“Enagh Lough is a ‘Special Area of Scientific Importance’ (ASSI) situated just a stone’s throw away from Lisahally, the most industrialised zone in the North West and not far from the biggest illegal landfill dump in Europe at Mobuoy Road,” he said.
“Furthermore, the Faughan area which also has ASSI status, whilst strikingly beautiful and a haven for anglers has been polluted and neglected for far too long.
“With the May Assembly elections looming EYF would appeal to everyone to challenge those seeking your vote. Ask them what they have done or what they will do to help highlight and tackle environmental injustices particularly across the Faughan area,” he said.
The Strathfoyle community worker suggested concerted action would be needed locally and regionally to achieve these goals and that everyone can play their part.
“More needs to be done to restore the Faughan area back to its former glory.
“Local Council, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and others must do more to help protect this area so that it can be enjoyed by future generations,” he said.
He said the clean up was about local people taking the matter into their own hands and doing something to improve their local environment.
“We can all take small actions to help out with this and finally we would encourage everyone to do one thing to help care for the local environment!
“We will be holding a number of ‘Environmental Awareness’ sessions in partnership with Strathfoyle Library as we move into spring 2016 and would encourage everyone to get involved.”
The Enagh Loughs are home to mature woodland and several sites of archaeological and historical interest including a crannóg at Rough Island, a town house and crannóg at Green Island and Enagh Church and Graveyard.
They are also extremely popular amongs anglers and walkers.
The waterway is one of the few local amenities in the Londonderry area, which is available to coarse fishermen with pike, perch, bream, tench and roach all present in the Loughs.