Northern Ireland news

Volunteers clean Co Down beach after diesel spill

A diesel spill at Millisle beach in Co Down

PEOPLE have been urged to be cautious when visiting a Co Down beach where a quantity of diesel has been spilled.

On Saturday, up to 20 volunteers gathered on Millisle beach to help clean up the spilled fuel, the origin of which was last night unknown.

One volunteer, who responded to an appeal for help posted on social media, said the "pretty serious" spill was flowing across beach into the North Channel and had the potential to harm wildlife in the area.

North Down and Ards Borough Council yesterday tweeted about the environmental damage, saying the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) had visited the site and had taken water samples.

"The recent high tides have helped to disperse the spill," the council's Twitter account said.

"Some small areas of ‘puddling' remain among the rocks and seaweed but further wave action will break this up."

The council said NIEA had advised the public not to attempt to clear up any remaining spill, adding that tidal action "is the most effective method to break up the diesel".

It said a contractor would be carrying out further clean up work.

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Northern Ireland news