There is huge upset after an apparent 'forest party' saw significant littering in the Glenmalure Valley for the second weekend in a row.
It's understood that abandoned campsites, discarded tents, barbecue, clothing, sleeping bags, plastic bags, cans, glass bottles, food and other items were left by a small number of visitors to the area at the weekend.
'It seems a considerable amount of people came to the area for a party,' said Ian Davis of the PURE Project.
He stressed that the majority of visitors to the area respect requests to take litter away.
'The majority of families that come to camp in the valley are welcome and take any waste away with them. On this occasion, it was impossible for members of the community to go out to request litter is removed and the remains of the weekend were left behind.'
Members of the local community, PURE and Coillte surveyed the affected area on Monday. Coillte started a clean-up of the area on Monday and the PURE truck will remove any waste collected today (Wednesday).
Councillor Pat Kennedy, Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, said a socially distanced meeting involving all the relevant stakeholders had been organised for Friday to consider ways to prevent a repeat of the littering.
'Representatives from Coillte, the Glenmalure PURE Mile and Wicklow County Council will be among those present. The Glenmalure PURE Mile group do great work, but all the stakeholders need to come together to make sure we come up with measures to stop this littering.
'Those visiting Glenmalure Valley should leave it as they find it,' he added.
In a post on social media, Wicklow County Council described the incident as 'another dreadful example of littering in our beautiful Garden County'.
Glenmalure PURE Mile group carried out a clean-up on Monday, June 15 following instances of littering over the previous weekend. The recent fine weather and the relaxation of some travel restrictions have seen an increase in visitors to the Wicklow Uplands.
Meanwhile, the possibility of installing CCTV cameras to deter littering in the Glenmalure Valley was raised at the June meeting of the Arklow Municipal District.
Cllr Pat Kennedy (FF) raised the issue of illegal dumping in the Glenmalure Valley during the meeting held last Wednesday in the Coral Leisure Centre. Mr Mulhall asked Cllr Kennedy to provide the location of the dumping. Waste management had a limited number of cameras, but he would see if one could be installed in the area.
Separately, Pure announced last week it had recorded its lowest amount of illegal dumping collected from the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands in 2019.
Pure removed 150 tonnes of illegal dumping from the Wicklow/Dublin Mountains in 2019, down from 344 tonnes in 2009.
A significant amount of the rubbish removed by Pure was collected by the numerous volunteers involved in the Pure Mile. Thousands of volunteers are participating in the Pure Mile Project.
Over 550 miles of roads, mountains, woodlands, valleys, and upland amenities has been adopted so far in 2020.
Hundreds of litter picks and clean-ups organised by volunteers and local PURE Mile groups have already taken place.