Community group slams fly-tipping at nature reserve

Tyres dumped at Belshaw's Quarry National Nature Reserve near Lisburn.

Tyres dumped at Belshaw's Quarry National Nature Reserve near Lisburn.

Whitemountain and District Community Association (WDCA) has condemned the illegal dumping of dozens of car tyres at Belshaw’s Quarry National Nature Reserve as “totally irresponsible”.

Shortly before Christmas local residents discovered that almost 100 tyres had been dumped over the fence of the property on Bensons Road, near Lisburn.

The fly-tipping is thought to have taken place on the night of December 16, and the community association has appealed to anyone with information about the culprits to contact police at Lisburn Station.

Commenting on the incident, John Belshaw, the chairperson of WDCA, said: “Locals and visitors frequent the reserve, now actually an Area of Special Scientific Interest, and to find this amount of tyres dumped shows premeditated irresponsible behaviour by those involved.

“The car tyres are clean and freshly smelling of rubber so have most likely come from one or more tyre dealers. No doubt those responsible had some financial reasons for their activity, but I reckon there are enough clues for police to investigate.

“Fly-tipping is still happening too frequently in rural areas and if anyone sees such activity they should report it to the police.”

Mr Belshaw continued: “We have just launched our biggest project to date and have contracted six sculptors to add a series of geologically themed human sized sculptures to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency-owned reserve. Part of the site works will hopefully also see a state-of-the-art solar powered web based security system installed. This project idea has been the best part of a year in the making and as a community group that has a focus on environmental matters, fly-tipping on this scale is something that we hope the police will thoroughly investigate.

“If anyone knows anything then they could also send out the word through our latest social media presence on Nextdoor – Pond Park area. Through that facility and our Facebook page locals can also express their interest in upcoming workshops and activities.”

Whitemountain and District Community Association aims to help connect residents of the areas bounded by Sheepwalk Road, Pond Park Road, Beanstown Road, Glenavy Road and Whinney Hill in the townlands of Whitemountain, Aghnahough, Beanstown, Ballyclough and just north of Lisburn.

Further information about the group is available online at www.whitemountain.org.uk