Celebrations for end of exams leave big mess in Curracloe

POST Leaving Cert celebrations have led to a lot more illegal camping activity at Curracloe in recent days.

The Raven Wood, apart from being a hugely popular local beauty spot, is also within a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and is a strictly no-camping zone.

However, camping does occur there, particularly during the summer months, and the recent end of the school-year seems to have attracted a lot more tents, fires and rubbish to the woods by Curracloe beach.

The 'Friends of the Raven' carry out regular clean-ups there and on Monday morning they assembled for their postweekend clean up.

A spokesman for the group said that very early into their clean up they came upon a group of post Leaving Cert lads from Wexford who were fast asleep in their tents, with a log fire still smouldering and empty beer cans and broken bottles scattered all around the area.

'A radio and a tent looked like they had ended up in the fire also,' said the spokesman.

' The campers, on being roused from their slumber, were somewhat taken aback to be confronted by a number of bibbed and gloved men telling them to pack up, clean up and move out,' he said.

'Having bagged all their waste with bags provided by the clean-up crew they got the lecture about this being an SAC and how they were breaking the law by camping, littering and lighting fires in the area.'

The clean-up crew reported that the campers were, by and large, a nice, albeit very hungover, bunch of lads.

' They huddled around a picnic table back at the car-park until one of the mummies came to take them home. One wonders if she knew what a mess they had made!' said the spokesman.

He added that they are far from the only group to have camped there lately, with the amount of littering and rubbish having increased noticeably within The Raven Wood.

The Friends of The Raven group is currently working closely with the Gardaí, Wexford County Council, National Parks and Wildlife Service and An Taisce to ensure that the area is properly maintained and managed.

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