Fly tipping biggest cause of litter in National Park

By Sean Moriarty

Fly tipping is the biggest cause of litter in the National Park and it is causing problems for the park’s wildlife.

That is according to the park’s Conservation Ranger Peter O’Toole.

Mr O’Toole has been monitoring deer activity in the park for over 30 years.

Last week he took a photograph of a stag with a plastic rubbish bag trapped in his antlers.

It was taken on Saturday September 21, the day after 1000s of Killarney students took part in a climate change rally in the town.

Overall, litter is not a huge issue in the park, Mr O’Toole stated but at the times of heavy rains, litter and other rubbish tends to get washed down the rivers Flesk and Deenagh and into to the lakes.

“Wave action on the lakes brings this rubbish the to the shore, the issue is fly tipping further up the catchment area,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “This is mating or rutting season and deer tend to scrape the ground in frustration so this is the only time of the year you would see something like this. But  I have seen it more and more in recent years. I am working in the park since the 1980s and would not have seen this in the past.”

Single use plastic bottles is another growing problem in the park.  Once the vegetation starts to thin in the autumn months, bottles that were discarded during the busy summer months become more visible.

“We see a lot more plastic than we did in the past,” he added. “But groups like Valley Rowing Club and Lough Lein Anglers volunteer to clean up the lakes shores. “