Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

293 MARKS (277 IN 2018) Com­mu­nity – Your Plan­ning and In­volve­ment

Thank you for your com­pre­hen­sive en­try form with two very well de­signed and laid out maps that were easy for the ad­ju­di­ca­tor to fol­low. Also the nu­mer­ous small pho­tos through the text were most help­ful and give a more rounded pic­ture of what goes on I your com­mu­nity through­out the whole year. You have done very well in the Na­tional TidyTowns com­pe­ti­tion over the past few years and you will do well again this year! How­ever, now that you are mov­ing up the rank­ings, hav­ing a Three or Five Year plan is very im­por­tant and some­thing that we ask of all groups, es­pe­cially when they reach higher rank­ings. A sim­ple ta­ble is enough, di­vided into the dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories and years thus al­low­ing both your­selves and your ad­ju­di­ca­tor to see what work is on­go­ing, what is planned and al­lo­cated re­spon­si­bil­i­ties etc. It is clear that you li­aise with many groups and lo­cal busi­nesses which is al­ways good to see. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is a strong point, your idea of send­ing notes home with school chil­dren is a great way of spread­ing the in­for­ma­tion through the wider com­mu­nity. Your cal­en­dar hang­ing up in peo­ple’s kitchens re­minds them of the great work you are do­ing all through the year. You have held a num­ber of pub­lic in­for­ma­tion events – this is a very im­por­tant part of a Tidy Towns group’s role within their com­mu­nity so well done. De­lighted to see that you have a school’s li­ai­son of­fi­cer, with your lo­cal school – this is so im­por­tant, not least be­cause these pupils are pos­si­bly your fu­ture Tidy Towns mem­bers! Your in­clu­siv­ity of ju­nior mem­bers is to be com­mended and can only lead to good things both for you andthem.

Streetscap­e and Pub­lic Places

The Hol­ly­wood Café makes a won­der­ful ad­di­tion to your vil­lage and must act as a great com­mu­nity hub all year round. It has been very sen­si­tively done and fits in re­ally well with the lovely Hol­ly­wood streetscap­e. Open­ing up the ad­ja­cent Forge as vil­lage mu­seum and in­for­ma­tion cen­tre would be ideal and we look for­ward to this project com­ing to fruition the com­ing years. The Labyrinth sculp­ture is very eye-catch­ing in the cen­tre of the vil­lage. Well done on keep­ing up the main­te­nance of the old Tele­phone Box – a bril­liant way to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion to the vis­i­tor. The Fairy trail idea is a great one, just let us add a word of cau­tion about not nail­ing any­thing to liv­ing tree trunks or branches when con­struct­ing your trail. This has been noted in other towns and vil­lages and it is never a good idea as it dam­ages the liv­ing tree and can lead to in­fec­tion and some­times the death of the tree it­self. Well done on the fan­tas­tic on­go­ing work re­pair­ing the beau­ti­ful stone walls around the vil­lage. These are such a won­der­ful char­ac­ter­is­tic of the area and this is en­sur­ing the con­tin­u­a­tion of the rich lo­cal tra­di­tion of stone ma­sonry. The Wa­tery Lane is a beau­ti­ful, peace­ful short walk. It is a joy to see these sort of old laneways and Mass paths be­ing kept open by com­mu­ni­ties – they serve a hugely im­por­tant need where both phys­i­cal and men­tal health can be im­proved by a walk that gets you close to na­ture. We loved the colour­ful treat­ment of the ser­vice boxes – well done on tak­ing the ini­tia­tive to ap­proach ESB and Eir about this. They’ll bring a smile to lots of faces no doubt!

Green Spa­ces and Land­scap­ing

The lovely, colour­ful herba­ceous peren­nial plant­ing was noted in spots all over the vil­lage. You are in­deed lucky to have a hor­ti­cul­tur­ist work­ing with you. The plant­ing at the base of walls around the vil­lage is a lovely fea­ture and most plants were pol­li­na­tor-friendly. A lot of planters did fea­ture pelargo­ni­ums, petu­nias and lo­belias, none of which are of food value to pol­li­na­tors. Un­for­tu­nately, the loss of our pol­li­na­tor species in Ire­land is in such a dire state we re­ally need to have all our pub­lic plant­ing of food value to these pre­cious species. We have lost 17% of our bum­ble­bees alone since 2012. It is a re­spon­si­bil­ity

of Tidy Towns groups who are plant­ing in pub­lic ar­eas to do what we can by pro­vid­ing lots of pol­li­na­tor food by way of long flow­er­ing herba­ceous peren­ni­als, leav­ing grass verges for their nest­ing habi­tats, let­ting wild­flow­ers bloom in­stead of mow­ing and strim­ming them away and not us­ing poi­sonous her­bi­cides. When plan­ning ahead for plant­ing ar­eas please make sure to use plants listed in the re­ally help­ful ‘Pol­li­na­tor Plant­ing Code’ avail­able to down­load at www.pol­li­na­tors. ie/re­sources This ex­ten­sive list fea­tures plants suit­able for all sit­u­a­tions be that dry, shaded, damp, sunny etc. Your re-used tyre planter was noted. Clearly lots of work went into it but we have to make the point that we would ad­vise groups not to re-use tyres. The cost of their re­cy­cling has al­ready been paid in the price they cost orig­i­nally and they need to be brought to the ap­pro­pri­ate re­cy­cling cen­tre be­cause as they age and de­grade they can leach nox­ious chem­i­cals into the en­vi­ron­ment. Your work and ef­fort is ac­knowl­edged here but for any fu­ture planter projects please look to use other more sus­tain­able types of con­tain­ers. The na­tiv­ity project looks ter­rific in your photo and with all the com­mu­nity sup­port it should def­i­nitely be an an­nual fea­ture. The Quarry area plant­ing was noted. A fu­ture project to re­build the stone wall here would be a great idea, es­pe­cially as this is such a vis­i­ble en­trance/ ap­proach road to your vil­lage from the scenic tourist route of the Wick­low Gap.

Na­ture and Bio­di­ver­sity in your Lo­cal­ity

You have car­ried out a huge amount of work so far on your Re­mem­brance Wild­flower Meadow which looked beau­ti­ful on ad­ju­di­ca­tion day. We won­dered though if per­haps a path could be mown tho­rugh the meadow as it doesn’t lend it­self to be­ing in­spected more closely at the mo­ment and this would be worth­while for any passer-by or even if na­ture walks were or­gan­ised for lo­cal school chil­dren etc. be­cause the com­bi­na­tion of wild­flow­ers, bee­hive and fruit trees make for lots of bio­di­ver­sity in­ter­est to ed­u­cate about! Your spring nec­tar banks are a won­der­ful idea, well done on this project. Fo­cus on the cro­cuses, snow­drops and mus­cari as un­for­tu­nately daf­fodils are of lit­tle food value to the pol­li­na­tors. The cro­cuses will give you good value for money last­ing for many years – the cro­cus meadow in Kil­macur­ragh gar­dens is 300 years old! Make sure to carry out any work you have planned at Dinny’s Lane in re­la­tion to the Big Lough with the ad­vice of a pro­fes­sional ecol­o­gist as wet­land habi­tats are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly more pre­cious in Ire­land and many host pro­tected species. A first step would be to con­sult with your lo­cal NPWS Con­ser­va­tion Ranger who is most likely based in the NPWS of­fice of the Wick­low Moun­tains Na­tional Park. This type of project could be very worth­while and lead to lots of in­ter­est­ing com­mu­nity events such as Bioblitzes, Bat and Bird walks in the fu­ture – all great for in­creas­ing bio­di­ver­sity aware­ness and com­mu­nity spirit as well as be­ing re­ally en­joy­able! Your own Pol­li­na­tor Plan sounds great – per­haps you could pro­vide a copy for next year’s ad­ju­di­ca­tor? You show a great aware­ness of the na­tive wild plants of your area. We vis­ited the St. Kevin’s Church of Ire­land grave­yard but were very dis­ap­pointed to see her­bi­cide had been sprayed along the grass edges here – even un­der­neath a bio­di­ver­sity aware­ness sign! This is where you in Hol­ly­wood Tidy Towns bio­di­ver­sity knowl­edge and aware­ness comes in to please let the per­son know who is do­ing this that is un­nec­es­sary, un­sightly and most im­por­tantly her­bi­cide mis­use is re­sult­ing in de­creases to our pre­cious pol­li­na­tor pop­u­la­tions in Ire­land.

Sus­tain­abil­ity – Do­ing more with less

Great to hear that you have re­ally ben­e­fit­ted from the ‘Ac­tion on Cli­mate Change’ work­shops you at­tended. The mush­room com­post work is an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of you act­ing on your new found knowl­edge. Makesure­tospreadth­e­wordto other gar­den­ers and com­mu­ni­ties on this ex­cel­lent prac­tice! Well done on your seed col­lec­tion work. This is so worth­while and a great ex­er­cise in sus­tain­abil­ity. Your Vil­lage Al­lot­ment is a ter­rific com­mu­nity project and it sounds like you have got great use out of it over the last year. It was look­ing in need of a litte ‘t.l.c.’ on ad­ju­di­ca­tion day but hope­fully it will be back on track for next year’s com­pe­ti­tion be­cause it is such a won­der­ful ini­tia­tive for your lo­cal com­mu­nity. Great to hear of all your ini­tia­tives through the vil­lage with re-us­able straws and cups and the wa­ter re­fill sta­tion, the Christ­mas tree shred­ding ser­vice and your new planters and wa­ter bowsers.

Tidi­ness and Lit­ter Con­trol

Hol­ly­wood was look­ing spic and span on ad­ju­di­ca­tion day de­spite lots of vis­i­tors on a beau­ti­ful sum­mer’s day at the height of tourist sea­son so well done here on all your ef­forts. Great to see you have en­tered the Pure Mile project. This has been re­ally suc­cess­ful all across Co. Wick­low with some com­mu­ni­ties tak­ing on huge lengths of roads and beat­ing the lit­ter louts! The idea of reach­ing out to other com­mu­ni­ties and hav­ing your Pure Miles meet is fan­tas­tic and a good ex­cuse to work with the other won­der­ful like-minded com­mu­ni­ties that are in your beau­ti­ful county! Well done on sourc­ing eco-friendly maize starch bog ‘poo bags’. Show­ing the joinedup think­ing of two Tidy Towns cat­e­gories of Sus­tain­abil­ity and Lit­ter con­trol.

Res­i­den­tial Streets and Hous­ing Ar­eas

Hol­ly­wood is blessed with some beau­ti­ful ex­am­ples of ver­nac­u­lar Ir­ish ar­chi­tec­ture and many places are very well kept. We liked the red gates through­out the cen­tre of the vil­lage, they looked well against the stone walls.

Ap­proach Roads, Streets and Lanes

As stated above be­ing part of the Pure Mile project is great and will reap lots of ben­e­fits for all. When strim­ming on all ap­proach roads – make sure to leave the all-im­por­tant grassy bases to walls and hedges. Bum­ble­bees need north-fac­ing grassy banks for the queen to hi­ber­nate in and south or west fac­ing banks for her to make her nests in sum­mer so all are needed! More Hol­ly­wood sig­nage is def­i­nitely needed, this ad­ju­di­ca­tor ap­proached from the north­west and no vil­lage sign was seen.

Con­clud­ing Re­marks

A visit to Hol­ly­wood is al­ways most en­joy­able and with all the work you have been car­ry­ing out in re­cent years and the fu­ture projects to come this en­joy­ment will only in­crease. Well done to all and we look for­ward to our next visit to your beau­ti­ful vil­lage.

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