SUPERVALU Tidy Towns organised by Dept. Of The Environment, Community and Local Government . Competition based all aspects of the Local Environment. Judging takes place from June – prizes awarded in Sept - 200 prizes each year - €250,000 prize fund. Several different Awards which include : Best New Entry Awards for the highest scoring new entrant in each population category. Endeavour Awards for the biggest improvement by an entrant in each county from the previous year. (Ballymacarbry)
County Awards for the top three entrants in each county.(Lismore, Stradbally, Ardmore) Regional Awards for the top-scoring entrant in each region. Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals for entrants with scores that fall within a set range from that years winning score. (Lismore, Stradbally, Dungarvan) Category Awards for the highest scoring entrants in the Village, Small Town, Large Town and Large Urban Centre. (Lismore) Irelands Tidiest Town Award for the highest scoring entrant in the whole competition.
Special Awards to highlight Local Environmental Activities. These include : Gum Litter Taskforce Competition; initiatives to eliminate chewing gum litter in your area. Climate Change Award; to raise awareness and reduce the impact of climate change. Best Bring Bank Award; sponsored by Repak, maintaining bring bank sites through their general appearance and usage. Biodiversity Notice Nature Award; sponsored by NPWS through a Notice Nature campaign.
Tidy Towns ‘Can It’ Award; art competition, sponsored by EAA,for an artistic design made from used beverage cans.Tree Project Award; sponsored by The Tree Council of Irelandfor correct tree selection/location.Heritage Award; sponsored by The Heritage Council topromote local heritage and enhance access and knowledge.Sustainable Development Award; for the promotion ofsustainable development.Urban Village Award; sponsored by IPI for appropriate townplanning and maintaining the historical cores of ourtowns/villages.
15 entrants in 2011 Ten of these in the Village Category – population less than 1,000. Three in the Small Town Category – population between1,000 – 2,500. Two in the Large Town Category – population between5,000 – 10,000. Five entrants received recognition for their efforts in 2011.
Each entrant is assessed under Ten criteria with a total of 400 marks available as follows –• Overall development approach (50 marks)• The built environment, (50 marks)• Landscaping (50 marks)• Wildlife and natural amenities (50 marks)• Litter control (50 marks)• Tidiness (30 marks)• Waste minimisation (20 marks)• Residential areas (40 marks)• Roads, streets and back areas (50 marks)• General impression (10 marks)•
Overall development approach: how your committee plans, organises, Communicates and Links with other groups. Displayed through the application each year. Landscaping: Planting, Management and Maintenance of planted areas/ open areas. Residential areas: working with local resident associations to present pleasant environment to live in. Roads, streets and back areas: Approach roads, car parks, side streets and road verges. General impression: Simply – The impression created by the visitor – in turn the adjudicator’s impression of your town/ village.
Application Process: single most important aspect to your success.Provides information to the adjudicator: Sets out you goals/ projects. Describes how you will achieve these. How you fund these and your other activities. Project Partners: Links with other groups and agencies and how you utilise these links.
Action Groups LocalSpecialised Tidy Towns Authority Areas Committee WCC Voluntary Groups
Goals/ Projects: the way you break down the tasks and identify partners involved.Identify and Prioritise your goals into a multi year plan. Ideally more than one covering different aspects of the Judging Criteria - variety of project types and sizes - On-Going Maintenance, Clean-Up Campaigns, Enhancing Open Spaces/ Tree Planting or Larger Projects.Update: the projects you have completed/ongoing. Record the benefits they have brought. Great for morale and motivation.
Funding : Raising money from the local community, through jumble sales, sponsored events, draws, local business and sponsorship.Remember! First impressions count.Use your map to show the Adjudicator the areas you haveworked on. Identify aspects of your town or village which you may wish tonominate for a special award.
Landscape Setting: urban, rural, the built and the natural and environment. What makes your town/village unique. Understanding the landscape, through its history, should determine the types of trees and shrubs – Location, Location, Location ! What the Adjudicator Looks At: Trees Shrubs Flowers Maintenance of planted areas Management of open spaces
Points are awarded for the appropriate selection and siting of trees, shrubs and flowers, their maintenance and management. A long-term approach to planting is required to achieve year-round effect which can only be achieved through tree and shrub planting. - Summer Bedding ? What is Successful Planting Design ? Functional Ecological Aesthetic What, Where & Why ?
How are you going to achieve the Design Elements ? Survey – site, existing use, soils, views into and out of. Growing conditions – slope, aspect, wind exposure. Characteristics of Plants can help us in selection : Ground Level Below knee height – dwarf shrubs. Knee – waist height – small shrubs, medium herbaceous. Waist- eye level – medium shrubs, tall herbaceous. Above eye level – tall shrubs and trees.
Tree Planting: ‘one of the noblest acts of optimism’ Design Process – hugely important. Characteristics of Trees: Small trees - 5-10m for within smaller spaces and gardens. Medium trees - 10 -20m mature height comparable in scale to most buildings. Tall trees – 20m and above mature height, require plenty of room to develop naturally. Our own Native Trees should be favoured where possible, particularly on the outskirts while more ornamental trees may be suitable for streets and gardens. Ornamental trees must never be planted in natural amenity areas such as river banks.
Maintenance/ Management: – should be considered at the planning stage. – pruning, thinning, replanting and weed control :- time, effort and resources. Make a Maintenance Plan. A good visual effect can be achieved when planted in single species groups, with contrasts of leaf flower colour, foliage texture and overall shape. This has a lower maintenance requirement than seasonal flowering plants. Shrub beds near to shops and takeaways are notorious litter traps. In order to reduce the maintenance effort, it may be worthwhile looking at the town or village as a whole.
Planting on approach roads should be as large groups of the same colour and texture as more detail effects cannot be appreciated when travelling at speed. Maintenance will be reduced if shrubs are planted into clean soil where all perennial weeds have been removed. Trees should ideally be planted in the autumn when the soil is still warm and the tree can make new root growth before the winter. Weed and grass should be controlled, removed from the base, strimmer damage is a great cause of trees failing. The planting of flowers around the base of trees does not always give an attractive result and they compete for soil moisture in summer.
Direct sowing of native annuals on bare soil, can be a cost- effective and attractive way of improving a particular site – whether at the small or large. Such plantings are highly attractive to insects and have a high level of interaction with the local wildlife. Most soils may be too fertile for Wildflowers – ideal for areas which have unfinished development. Require harvesting and some soil disturbance to allow for the following years growth. A meadow of grass and wildflower may be easier to achieve, selected grass varieties allowed to seed in late summer. Lack of formal appearance – needs to be positioned correctly. Meadows are one of the most endangered grassland habitats – effectively hay making.
Community gardens are ‘parks’ created out of smaller pockets of land by and for local people. Range from a small corner with a tree and a bench, to a large park with gardens, allotments community orchards for fruit trees. Creating a community garden can help to bring a community together. Because young people can be closely involved in the creation of a community garden, vandalism in the area can be greatly reduced.
What the Adjudicator Looks At:• Maintenance of boundary walls, fences,gardens• Communal open spaces• Planting• Estate signage• Links to town centre and facilities Working with Residents’ Associations is key. Associations are important Partners with the committee - in the management of their area. Both groups can work together to improve appearance where necessary. A Tidy Garden Competition can have a significant effect over time on the appearance of a neighbourhood.- Prize sponsored by another Partner.
What the Adjudicator Looks At: • approach roads • streets • connecting roads • laneways • bridges Identify areas in need of attention and to develop a programme of action that involves the community and individual owners.
Areas to Consider: Road Verges and Fences - First impression of a town or village is often formed from the condition of the approach roads. Streets - well maintained and presented. Back Areas - development has opened up new dimensions to towns whereby side streets and back areas have become an important aspect in the Tidy Towns
Personal Pride Financial Support for Future Projects Community PridePositive Publicityfor your area Better place to Live, Work and Visit.