Six mark increase in Millstreet Tidy Towns report
THE enthusiastic Millstreet Tidy Town Association delved into an analysis of its 2017 submission that earned a six mark increase and a bronze medal in the national competition.
Marks are hard earned and Millstreet jumping from 308 to 314 marks is enhanced by the positive reaction from the Tidy Towns adjudicator. And together with a number of exciting developments in the pipeline it all augurs well for the future.
The outcome gives a dedicated Millstreet Tidy Towns Association the impetus to strive for futher success, obtaining a bronze medal and retaining its premier category status in North Cork.
A synopsis of the Adjudicators report reads:
Community Involvement & Planning:
Your long association with the competition is acknowledged and evident in a comprehensive and well put-together application. It is easy to see that Tidy Towns is at the heart of the Millstreet community with an impressive list of supporting community groups, local businesses and agencies.
With 18 active committee members and 25 more volunteers, the volunteer spirit is clearly thriving in Millstreet.
Also, the strong involvement of 20 helpers from the Drishane Community is very heartening to see – it is an expression of the very best of the Tidy Towns spirit fostering a sense of well-being and belonging for those in our local community who can be experiencing loneliness and isolation.
Built Environment & Streetscape:
The streetscapes of Millstreet are very attractive, making the most of the beautiful backdrop of Claragh Mountain, theTown Square is a great success with its well organised parking and the clever build-outs. Also, the Hornbeam trees give a lovely structure as well as the relief of green foliage in the urban landscape.
A new pedestrian crossing at St Patrick’s Church was working well, the church is a beautiful building and immaculate, its stained glass windows took our breath away and should be a must-see for any Millstreet visitor. Your planned history panels for here will really add to the visitor’s experience.
The painted cottages on Church St looked well, Millstreet has some lovely details in her Main Street buildings and these too could feature in Heritage Trails of the town, we loved the shamrock arches over the upper windows of Tangney’s Shop.
Landscaping & Open Spaces:
St Anna’s graveyard is a wonderful oasis in the middle of the town, the bright orange of the Marigolds growing through the gravel and the red of the benches made beautiful contrasts with the grey of the stonework. This area could be a great biodiversity oasis too if the grass was managed as a wildflower meadow.
The Town Park is a great amenity, we saw the three patches/islands of wildflowers – these made such an impact that maybe you might consider extending them into winding ‘rivers’ of wildflowers around the Park edges.
Elsewhere. the tree-lined avenue in the Drishane Estate is a beautiful feature to the right as you drive in the Mallow Road.
Wildlife, Habitats & Natural Amenities:
Working to a three year Biodiversity Action Plan. Millstreet clearly has a wealth of wildlife habitats and increased knowledge, the involvement of the local schools is great – ensuring a good future for Millstreet’s biodiversity.
In addition to your BAP there’s excellent guidance to be had in the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. The plans for a Pollinator Park at the old petrol station on the Mallow Road are a great idea.
Remember to use lots of flowering perennials and small shrubs for a long-lasting and more cost effective strategy. A wealth of wildflowers was noted in the graveyard beside St. Patrick’s Church - a real pollinator haven in the middle of town.
The Wildlife Area on the Clara Road was visited - bands of dead vegetation at lawn edges and around shrubs was disappointing in this area that’s meant to be wildlife-friendly!
Sustainable Waste & Resource Management:
The Recycling Centre is a great community resource, Millstreet certainly seems to be making the most of it. The three GIY projects are very positive, the water butts and rain water harvesting tanks is a great initiative and it is good to avail of the guidance offered by local Community water Officers
Tidiness & Litter Control:
Millstreet was beautifully tidy and litter free throughout during our visit – all the hard efforts of the Millstreet TT volunteers down through the years have resulted in a beautifully presented town where pride in the local place is obvious. The great community involvement by various different groups such as Transition Year students and Drishane direct provision residents is clear to see through Millstreet’s clean and tidy environs.
The Best Frontage Awards is a great scheme and is clearly having a good response. We were very taken with the newly refurbished ‘Old Creamery’ building on the Mallow Road.
Both Bank buildings have been sensitively maintained and the Credit Union looked very well with particularly nice window boxes. The Doggie bins were noted at the three different locations .
Residential Streets & Housing Areas:
The Steering Committee for the different housing estates is a good way to keep everybody on board and on track.
We drove into all the estates around the town and it is clear that all are well looked after, the residential streets around Millstreet featured well-painted houses with lots of colour and plenty of planted baskets and pots, we loved the idea behind the Old Millrace project. Unfortunately there’s only a few white stones left now to represent the water – what about planting the area with something like Candytuft that has pure white flowers with a long flowering time.
Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes:
The laneways of Millstreet are a great heritage feature of the town pointing towards its long history. Tom Cat and Jerry the Mouse were spotted in the windows of some well-painted empty houses!
The roadside picnic area on the Mallow Road is beautifully maintained and the use of different colours to paint the street furniture is very cheering. The bed of roses at the Killarney Road junction was in full bloom for our visit making a lovely welcome into that side of the town.
Some of the trees on the West End of Main Street are looking unhealthy and may need replacing.
The beautiful presentation of Millstreet by the wonderful voluntary efforts of her residents compliments the town’s beautifully picturesque situation.
Keep up your great work.