THE feel-good factor in Baltimore is off the charts following the biggest and brightest turnout of litter pickers on Sunday, April 18th.
Representatives from over 70 different groups donned high-vis jackets and combed the hedgerows in Baltimore, and the surrounding townlands, to give the village and countryside a major Springtime spruce-up.
Baltimore Tidy Towns, Baltimore Community Council, Explore Baltimore, Ilen Rovers, families of Rath National School, volunteers, residents, and visitors all helped to make this the biggest turnout to date.
‘There have been many clean-ups over the years, but the response to this was overwhelming,’ Maureen O’Hanlon, the PRO of Baltimore Tidy Towns told The Southern Star.
Baltimore’s beautiful white Beacon, local beaches, Tullagh Graveyard, the approach roads between Skibbereen and Baltimore, and the surrounding roads and townlands even as far as Lough Hyne, are now looking pristine.
The clean-up began at 10am and the volunteers turned up with gloves, refuse bags, litter pickers, shovels and spades that were either provided by the organisers, or brought along by the volunteers themselves.
The team worked in a systematic but socially-distanced way to collect rubbish and litter dumped along the verges of the roads, in hedgerows, on beaches, and even wind-blown debris in fields.
Weeds were blitzed too, according to Maureen, who said: ‘The village is ready: summer can come.’
The youngest among the tribe were given something of bribe. But perhaps the chocolate egg treats would be better described as a well-deserved reward for taking part in the incredible community endeavour.
The sense of community was extended to people living on the outskirts of the village.
Baltimore Tidy Towns wrote to these people, as well as those new to the area, by way of an introduction to the many initiatives happening in the village.
‘There is lots that people can do,’ said Maureen. ‘There are numerous projects on the subject of sustainability, biodiversity and environmental awareness. It’s more than just a clean-up. This is about community building too.’