Ballygally and Carnlough beaches win UK awards

TWO local beaches have been awarded prizes by a UK environmental charity.

Ballygally and Carnlough beaches received Environmental Campaigns (ENCAMS) Rural Seaside awards following a move to improve the facilities at two of the best beaches in Northern Ireland.

Larne Borough Council secured funding from the Natural Resource Rural Tourism Initiative and carried out works at both locations.

Morris Crum, director of environmental services, said the council were delighted to receive the award. "The Antrim Coast is one of our greatest assets and it gives pleasure to so many. It is in all our interests to make sure that these beaches stay clean and in good condition and we all have a role to play in this by properly disposing of our litter," he said.

Both beaches now have information display panels, more life rings, and bins for dog fouling. Beaches had to reach standards in safety and cleanliness. The path to Ballygally beach has been upgraded and water quality was tested – samples were collected throughout the summer by the Environment and Heritage Service.

Linda Foy, countryside officer, said upgrading the beaches had been an exciting and worthwhile project. "The beaches are something for us all to be proud of," she said.

ENCAMS is an environmental charity group that campaigns directly to the public and is best known for the Keep Britain Tidy campaign.