Groundwork Northern Ireland

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Groundwork Northern Ireland are using bonfire night - usually an opportunity for conflict, to engage communities in cross-cultural discussions and promote cultural understanding.

 Groundwork is a federation of independent not-for-profit trusts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The first Groundwork Trust was established on Merseyside in 1981 in response to the Toxteth riots. 

Groundwork Northern Ireland focuses on delivering environmental improvements in areas of need throughout Northern Ireland. They use local environmental action to engage with and motivate people to improve their quality of life. The organisation therefore works for social, economic and environmental regeneration; creating a base for prosperous, peaceful coexistence.

Beacon Bonfires

The annual bonfires in Northern Ireland can be a flash point for sectarian conflict. The bonfires often reach dangerous heights and are constructed using environmentally harmful materials. Gathering materials for the bonfire leads to fly tipping in public areas and the heat of the bonfires often leaves lasting damage to road, playing fields and nearby buildings.

Groundwork Northern Ireland designed and created a beacon bonfire kit for these celebrations. The beacon is a steel structure that is filled with carbon neutral willow bark chips. The beacon is safely installed on a bed of sand, which protects the ground beneath. The beacon does not emit harmful substances in to the air and so it can be safely enjoyed during celebrations. This initiative aims to ensure the bonfires are as safe, inclusive, and environmentally friendly as possible.


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