13 eco-friendly bonfires are being delivered around the Province today ahead of Thursday’s Eleventh night festivities.
Thursday July 11 will see bonfires lit across Northern Ireland as the traditional start of the Twelfth celebrations of King William III’s victory over James at the Battle of the Boyne.
While most of the bonfires are built by local communities, over the last five years Groundwork Northern Ireland has been delivering a more environmentally friendly alternative.
This year, 13 of these bonfire beacons will be lit. One of these will be at Brown Square at Peter’s Hill at the bottom of the Shankill Road while other locations include Larne and Islandmagee in Co Antrim, and Newtownards, Ballynahinch and Castlereagh in Co Down,
Designed and developed by Groundwork Northern Ireland, the beacons have become popular local attractions not just for the Twelfth celebrations - they are used in community and cultural festivals throughout the year – including Halloween.
Groundwork Northern Ireland’s Gavin Keown said his organisation “looks at providing sustainable alternatives to current issues or problems”.
“Bonfire Beacons provide all communities with an environmentally safe option to enjoy and celebrate their festivals,” he said.
“We’ve also found that communities and organisations regard these new beacons as an attractive addition to festivities.
“Often, the beacon is the biggest conversation point, especially when it arrives pre-packed and ready for the celebrations to begin.
“Each Bonfire Beacon design is a reusable, two-part steel structure, reaching five metres in height and is pre-filled with carbon neutral willow wood.
“It is then placed on a bed of sand, which is installed to protect any underlying surface from heat damage.”
Over the last five years, Groundwork Northern Ireland, in conjunction with contractor Boyd Landscapes Ltd, have delivered and installed over 120 beacons for a range of cultural and community events throughout Northern Ireland.