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Volunteers gearing up to clear 45 years of marine rubbish from north coast cave


Members of the Ulster Speleological Society and Caving Club (USSCC) are gearing up with their own personal project to tackle what is believed to be 45 years worth of plastic and marine rubbish in a sea cave near the Giant’s Causeway.

Back in August 2021, while members of the club were exploring the stunning sea caves up on the north coast, the group came across a cave, only accessible by sea, and they were shocked the mountain of waste found inside.


As well as the rubbish, the team also discovered what they say are some ‘fantastic calcite formations’ that they fear are in danger of being destroyed.



Speleologists are those who study caves and enjoy both studying and exploring them. For members of USSCC, a club that was formed in 2018, and registered as a non-profit organisation this year, they are all volunteers who are passionate about preserving the many caves throughout the island of Ireland.


For one particular member of the local organisation, since first discovering the shocking amount of rubbish in the cafe last summer, she was determined along with the other members to do something about it.

Aimee Dow has been a member of USSCC since the club was founded.


Chairman Liam McCarthy commented:


“Since Aimee joined the club, she has grown from strength to strength. As chairman of the USSCC, we as a club are delighted to have her on board.

“On one particular caving trip weekend, we visited the caves up on the north coast, and came across one in particular that contained a phenomenal amount general waste, plastic and ocean waste.



“Aimee was determined from moment one we as a club had to do something about. She has been encouraging the club ever since in organising this cave cleanup with the help and support of other club members. To have such a well organised, proactive and hard working lady heading up this project, I am certain of it being a success.”



The team have scheduled to tackle the mountain of waste on Saturday 28 May and planning for the arduous task is well underway.


Aimee outlined the three step plan put together by the team and says she hopes the logistics “will pay off”.


• Part 1


The Rigging Team and the Cave Team will swim to the cave. The rigging team will set up hauling lines and hand lines, they will then become the support team. The Cave teams task will be to fill 30 x 1 tonne bags with plastic and marine waste, ready to be rafted up in batches to be floated out.



Part 2


The Boat and Support Team will be standing by in the water. The support team will use kayaks to take a line out to the boat and the boat team will haul the rafted bags out to the boat where they will tow these to Portballintrae Harbour.


Part 3


The Ground Team will pull these ashore, they will then assort, photograph and log all the rubbish being landed and then dispose of in the skips provided.



Aimee said:


“As you can see there will be a lot going on, and we would welcome anyone who would like to get involved! If you would to volunteer and take part in our clean up please get in touch. We need you.”


To get in touch, please email:



The team are also welcoming any financial assistance to help with the costs of the cleanup operation at the cave. You can donate by visiting the fundraising page at the link below:



For more information on USSCC, please visit the organisation’s Facebook page, or the website at the link below:






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