CO WICKLOW TIDY TOWNS RESULTS AND REPORTS
AFTER MONTHS of hard work by volunteers all around the county, Monday’s Tidy Town results shed light on the good work that has been done, and the good work yet to be done. A selection of awards made their way from The Helix to Co Wicklow while, for others, the reports will offer a blueprint of work needed ahead of next year’s competition. The following are the reports for Bray district areas.
307 MARKS (296 IN 2017) Community involvement and planning
Thank you for your map, your colourful application form and accompanying material. You have reasonable number of people involved in your committee and volunteering for your population category which is good to see such interest in your work. You have a good range of public, business and private organisations that help you with your activities. You have numerous communication channels and your Facebook page is active and up to date. Great to see Facebook likes are up also. Wonderful news on your funding allocation which I am sure is very welcome for a voluntary group. Maybe consider binding your application next year (or splitting it into two) as the staple came out and pages started to get mixed up. You seem to have left out the question on your ‘ key project that you put a lot of time into’. Please include it for next year. As a suggestion to make it easier to find projects on the ground, on the map and in your application form, please start each category with your new projects (N), then the maintained projects (M) and finally the future projects (FP). Number all the projects sequentially (don’t restart numbering in each category). Then use the number of each new project in the application form on the map and map legend as appropriate. Some projects/numbers won’t be marked on the map, this is ok. You could also highlight what category each project is in as you did this year. This makes it very clear what projects are new, where to find them on the ground and where to find them in your application form. It makes it less likely that your adjudicator will miss anything. You can indicate landmarks on the map with letters or another symbol other than numbers. The method that you used makes it clear and easy to find locations on the map and on the ground but difficult to find /cross reference in your application form as your adjudicator has to go back through each category to find the project as it is not numbered in the application form.
An A3 size map would also provide more detail to your adjudicator, especially of estate names and smaller roads.
You seem to have also repeated projects across categories also. Some projects will involve multiple categories e.g. Fassaroe project. It is a lot easier for your adjudicator to navigate your application if you choose which category a project is most suited to, number and name it, describe it in that category and just make reference to the number and name in the other categories. You have given a description of the Fassaroe project in at least three categories and repeating most of the same information. This adds a lot of bulk to your application that is not necessary, makes it frustrating for your adjudicator to have to reread the same material again /cross check information and may lead to things being missed. Categorise the legend by the categories in the competition as this is what the adjudicator expects. Your grid reference for the project location was most welcome.
Streetscape & Public Places
Bray has many fine buildings and has made great improvement since this adjudicator last visited your town 15 odd years ago in a private capacity. I was very impressed by how new interventions have been added into the streetscape and made your town more permeable and how much the appearance of the town has improved. The Royal Hotel stone kerbs and walls were admired; Quinsborogh Road was very inviting with its wide footpaths and street trees. Your Fassaroe project highlights the cross category nature of some projects. Your landscape work at Fassaroe very clearly has made great streetscape improvement along this prominent edge. You had cross community support through the involvement of local
Traveller and Heritage groups working with you on this. You have removed a mountain of rubbish and improved the entrance to the estate. Hopefully this can be the start of additional projects in the area.
The addition of the new link along the Dargle and the completion of the cycle path are most impressive and well designed, offering a safe place to sit, walk and cycle as well as protection from flooding. The work on Albert Walk and Library was admired.
You might consider a project to put up street name signs as very few were noticed. Some of your seats and bins need upgrading. Great to hear of the shop front competition. Try to encourage higher quality shop front signage than plastic banner or poster panel with little or no detail. The style does not need to be traditional. Wicklow and South Dublin County Councils have shop front design guides which give examples of both traditional and modern designs, which may be of use to you in helping shop fronts be upgraded, especially on the main street.
Green Spaces and Landscaping
The flood protection works have been integrated very well into Bray and has led to the creation of additional high quality linear open spaces that help to link up the town for cyclists and pedestrians offering new routes in a safe and enjoyable environment. Great to hear of the 310 native trees planted on Bray head. The planting between Bray Hair and Beauty and H T O Carroll brightened up the area. The planting in front of The Royal at Seapoint Road lifts what otherwise would be a dull and ugly corner. Try to pick dull locations like this, junctions where motorists and pedestrians will be waiting, for displays as they can be appreciated a lot more. The other planting work mentioned in your application has been noted positively. Please don’t overstretch yourself in this category and be sure to match landscaping maintenance to people available to maintain it. In your tree planting make sure to keep a minimum of 1m radius around all trees free from weeds and grass. This will help the tree to grow strong and vigorous and also stop lawn-mower decks and strimmers rubbing up against the trees which can and usually does lead to their death a number of years later. In your planting please consult with recommended pollinator plants at pollinators.ie. Try to use at least 70% of pollinator friendly plants in schemes. Implementing this policy will also be looked on favourably by future adjudicators in this category as well as the landscaping and sustainability categories.
Nature and Biodiversity in your Locality
You have a good understanding and awareness of the nature and biodiversity in your area. The proposal to reduce the use of pesticides from Bray Municipal District is most welcome. Your biodiversity audit and joining Birdwatch Ireland are noted positively. Consider joining other non government organisations to help with environmental protection work in your area. You have also installed bird boxes, signed up for newsletters and shared surveys from Birdwatch Ireland. It is recommended that Tidy Town groups do a habitat map of what they have and look at best practice management for the different habitats. The Heritage Council has a Conserving and Enhancing Wildlife in Towns and Villages guide which outlines 10 habitats generally found and management of the same. You could do a simple map marking in the different habitats listed in the guide and then use this for your own use and for inclusion in this competition. Also consider wildlife walks and talks to raise awareness among the general public. Also track invasive species which you come across in your work. If you are considering wildflower planting ensure to use certified Irish wildflowers and not imported wildflowers. Some imported wildflower mixes include species not readily found in Ireland and may out-compete native varieties. See the Biodiversity Ireland we site guide to Creation of a
Wildflower Meadow for details of suitable suppliers. Please be careful in your works not to destroy existing valuable habitats such as dry stone walls and drainage ditches.
Sustainability - Doing more with Less
You have launched a number of initiatives under this category and appear to have a good understanding of the issues. This category is about changing people’s behaviour and attitudes, which can take a long time. Recycling levels were very low in the 1990s but now we have the second highest rate of packaging recycling in Europe.
Please try to quantify the saving made by the community each year and keep your adjudicator informed of the historical and year to year progress. A great source of inspiration is localprevention. ie/tidy-towns/.
What some groups also find beneficial is to break down this category into waste, water, energy and transport categories and to cover all 4 sub categories each year with new and continuing projects.
Tidiness and Litter Control
You have tackled head on the issues of graffiti and general untidiness and dereliction in a most encouraging way.
The use of murals adds vibrancy to otherwise dull edges. The work around the train station has improved the appearance of this first point of entry to so many day visitors and regular users. There still is work to be done as you are well aware and you are targeting your work well. Your work on unapproved signage and poor shop front presentation is to be commended. Other groups have organised an ‘Adopt a Spot’ campaign where individuals pledge to clean up a short section, say their boundary properties and a bit more. Similar initiatives and have found that this motivates others to contribute as they feel that they are not the only ones and that each bit will add up to a big area that is maintained. Maybe run a campaign to see if you can get others to make a pledge to Adopt a Spot.
Residential Streets & Housing Areas
Well done to the residents of Martello Terrace on their new pollinator friendly garden. Your work at Fassaroe has made a big difference. It may be worth considering running an estate competitions based around the Tidy Town competition with awards for best landscaping, best pollinator planting, best wildlife project, best estate, most improved, best sustainable project etc. Maybe the local authority or local business may want to get involved. Some tree stakes could be removed as they are no longer holding up the trees. By having the competition people will have a direct input into their estate whilst also benefiting Bray Tidy Towns in the competition.
Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes
A lot of comments from last years adjudicator still stand and are worth tackling in the short to medium term. Please
include then in a 3/5 year plan and tackle them as resources become available.
I really enjoyed my visit to Bray and you are making big improvements to your community. Please keep up the good
work and I wish you well with your plans for the future.
317 MARKS (312 IN 2017) Community Involvement & Planning
Welcome Shankill Tidy Towns to the 2018 Supervalu Tidy Towns Competition. Your entry is very much appreciated.
Thank you for your bound entry form which includes 3 maps, a calendar and lots more ending with a very important copy of your ‘Pollinator Friendly Garden Plants’. You have reduced the size of your entry form and we thank you for that. You have also introduced Irish into it and that will earn you 1 mark. Your position has been restored. Your maps are clear and easily read. Your projects have been numbered in the entry form and marked on the map. Including your outlying areas. Your population is 14,379 putting you in the Large Town F category. Your committee of 8 is backed up by 30 volunteers and 20 litter pickers.
Each year you have a public meeting. Committee meetings are monthly or more frequently if needed. The list of agencies, bodies and businesses that support you is extensive and is a testimony to the esteem in which your Tidy Towns group is held by your community. Your channels of communication range from notices in church newsletters to social media such as Facebook. You engage well with your schools and college and with the Scouts and Beavers. Engaging with youth is promoted by Tidy Towns. This year for the first time we asked Tidy Towns groups to single out projects which required particular effort and you nominated the Dublin Mountains Way with Shankill Tidy Towns Base Camp as a future project. In this category you set out very well how the community benefits from involvement with Tidy Towns and how it contributes to the development of your community.
Streetscape & Public Places
Shankill is fortunate to have a profusion of buildings and structures worth seeing and commenting on. This adjudicator will start with one that is not likely to be seen by passing visitors. It is the library hidden away on the appropriately named Library road. Dating back to 1912 it is, of course, a Carnegie Library. Its architectural style gives that away. It has its share of added flowers in containers, from the hanging baskets flanking its entrance door to flower pots. It looks well on its elevated site. Rathmichael School is close by and Scoil Mhuire is not too far away.
Rathmichael is a red brick, comfortable in its well-established grounds while Scoil Mhuire is more modern. Both look well, and both have 1