SuperValu Tidy Towns 2017: Legan represents 'peacefulness' of rural Ireland

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Legan Tidy Towns

Legan is 'the peacefulness of a rural village at its best'

Here's what the SuperValu Tidy Towns 2017 adjudicators had to say about Legan and above are the marks Legan received.

Community Involvement & Planning / Rannpháirtíocht an Phobail & Pleanáil:

Legan is very welcome to the 2017 Supervalu Tidy Towns Competition.

Thank you for the excellent application form, 3 year plan which is in its final year of application, supplementary material and a very detailed and easy to understand map which was of invaluable help to the adjudicator.

This was the adjudicator’s first visit to Legan or Lenamore and he was most impressed with the village and its surrounds.

It helped that the day of adjudication was bright and intermittently sunny and the village looked at its very best.

The committee of 8 certainly has gained the support of the local community judging by the number of local organisations that are involved with you.

It is good to note that you welcome new members and volunteers who have additional skills that come on board when needed.

This type of community spirit is not often seen in other villages and towns so well done on achieving this.

The benefits of this collective effort are visible all over the village in different guises.

It’s good to note also that you have developed very strong links with the local authority, other agencies and of course local businesses that sponsor elements of your work.

Methods of communication are a mix of the tried and trusted and the modern forms of social media which get you a much wider audience to publicise your activities.

Well done to local National School children who took part in and won a category award in an environment based competition recently.

Having two pupils on your committee is a very proactive move as it gives them exposure to what Tidy Towns is all about and what it means to their local village.

You are to be commended on your inclusivity and invitation to all that come to live in your village to become involved in your activities.

Thank you for the endorsement of the competition and what it has meant to the village of Legan down through the years.

No doubt an up dated plan will be submitted with next year’s application.

Built Environment and Streetscape / An Timpeallacht Thógtha agus Sráid-dreacha:

The adjudicator was well impressed with the general layout of the village of Legan, road surfaces were in good condition and the new section of footpath meant that there was now uniformity.

The footpath structure allows for pedestrian to access to the extremities of the village where the sports facilities Sairseil Legan GAA Club and Sairseil Legan Handball Alley are situated.

The adjudicator was impressed with club logo and mural on the hand ball alley walls and wishes you well in your plans to develop the area as a community amenity.
As with the majority of GAA Grounds the facilities at Sairseil Legan were excellent and some new additional work was in the throes of completion.

The new very apt war memorial commemorating Legan residents who died in the Great War was admired for simplicity of design and it was complements by some colourful annuals in the Longford colours.

St Marys RC Church in the village is a quaint little church which was interesting inside and kept in pristine condition as were the surrounding grounds.

The parishioners who look after the upkeep of the church are to be commended.

The local national school was also presented to a high standard and will be commented on in another category relating to wildlife.

The adjudicator was taken with the stand alone Aurora house and wasn’t too sure whether it was a private or a public premises but an old poster for one of Longford’s favourite sons Declan Nerney suggested that it was a community facility.

Mitchells Pub is long associated with the village, maybe the signage here could stand out a little more thus making the pub easily recognisable as one enters the village.

Whites Checkout was nicely painted but owners need to just straighten the R in supermarket on the side wall.
Ml Kiernan’s is now obviously a non trading premises and mores the pity as it would be an ideal location for a tea room for both locals and visitors.

The excellent community notice board was admired and it was very up to date information pertaining to the parish.

Similarly the official county tourism information board was in good condition as was the one at the entrance to Foxhall Estate.

The individual name signs “Tadys Bridge”and “Stoneman” were greatly admired as they depict subject matter relative to your village.

The new street furniture serves the purpose for what it was put there – relaxation.

Overall the standard is very good and you are not resting on your laurels judging by the ongoing work being done in this category.

Landscaping and Open Spaces / Tírdhreachú agus Spásanna Oscailte:

As was the case last year this is very much your strong point and the work completed during the year suggests that the committee is aiming for near perfection in this category in the years ahead.

One notes from the application that you have as partner the local peat moss factory and it looks as if peat moss is readily available to you for various planting arrangements in the village.

Now it figures why there was so much vibrant colour to be seen, annuals and indeed perennials thrive on good nutrient feed that peat moss gives.

The bog oak design at the wild flower presentation at Aurora Hal was noted and it fits in very well with the wildflower presentation.

The adjudicator was also impressed with multiple planting arrangements in stone beds, on the stone walls and in standalone containers that populated the village.

One of the shrub beds near the school looked as if it was a little over grown but other than that the standard was very good.

The entrance into the village from the road that the handball alley is on has a very attractive shrub bed at the bridge.

The quality of stone walls may have been mentioned in a previous section but it is no harm to reiterate how well they contribute to the overall look of the village and the village boundaries.

Japanese knotweed becoming very problematic around the country and local authorities are putting awareness notices at black spots where this most invasive of plants is at its most prolific.

Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities / Fiadhúlra, Gnáthóga agus Taitneamhachtaí Nádúrtha:

The objective in this category is to create an awareness of the wildlife habitats that are part of your area and to maximise the promotion of these taking into account the need for the preservation of different species of wildlife.

You have taken the right approach in this category by enlisting the support and advice from the Longford Heritage Group.

The school information corner on wildlife in the school grounds was visited by the adjudicator and it is good to see that you have engaged well with the local school in this type of project which will only serve to stimulate further interest in the children.

The River Inny of course is famous as angling river and the local fishing clubs contribution to wildlife conservation is exemplified in their ongoing activities such as organising competitions and overseeing restocking of the river.

The insect hotel and bird boxes have now become part and parcel of tidy town's applications so well done on these initiatives.

Sustainable Waste and Resource Management / Bainistiú Acmhainní agus Dramhaíola Inbhuanaithe:

This category promotes the concept of reducing the unnecessary production of waste at source and to describe activities how one manages waste and promotes efficient use of resources in the community.

As a committee you have grasped the concept and the measures that you have put in place fit into the ethos of this category perfectly.

The example of flower baskets being adopted by individuals and watered from harvested water or from one of the wells is a good example of effective use of natural resources.

As a matter of interest it’s the first time that the adjudicator has come across wells being mentioned as a resource which is strange given the amount of natural wells that are in the country.

Good to note also that you have regular contact with LCC Environmental Officer.

The bottle bank was well managed, tidy and organised.

To keep add to your project ideas bank the adjudicator suggests that you visit the following websites
www.localprevention.ie www.greenhomes.ie and www.sustainableprocessing.ie

It would also be worthwhile to research what the circular economy is all about and see if it applies to your work in this category.

Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:

The village was virtually litter free on the day in question which was at the week end and this suggests the message that Legan is anti litter is ingrained in the community as a whole.

The committee can take credit for this as it provides constant back up by way of notices and no dumping signs.

Top marks to the Legan walking group for using some of their walking time to participate in regular litter picks.

The bring bank is centrally located and was well maintained and tidy but this adjudicator would not subscribe to landscaping of the surrounding as this facility is for functional use.

Both rubbish bins were free of packed litter which was good for a week end day.

There were a number of boundary walls that were in need of painting or dashing so maybe the committee might gently impress on residents that need a little push the need to look after their properties and surrounding areas in the best possible manner.

Some of the road markings are fading a little so it might be no harm to advise local engineer.

The dog litter dispenser is an excellent addition and it is good to see that school children are being introduced good habits at an early stage of their development.

Well done on all the work which merits an increase in marks.

Residential Streets & Housing Areas / Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta:

Now I notice that Kiernan’s is subject to planning permission and hopefully the end result will be an addition to the village and maybe my original suggestion could come to fruition.

Well it is good to note that the developer of the unfinished estate has finally acceded to your requests for some form completion of this particular development.

Hopefully by this time next year that particular estate will become like Coll Choill – a lived in place.
Coll Choill is now fully occupied and the communal areas have been enhanced since last year by new hanging baskets and other planters.

The residents here are obviously keen to develop the estate in line with village plans.

Rockview Estate has a very nice entrance with some individual spirea and euonymus at the early stage of growth.

Foxhall Crescent on the way in from Rathowen is a rather large development which looked well on the day it has a nice name stone and piece of bog oak sculptor as welcoming features.

The speed sign in Rockview has additional warning symbols on it which is a very good idea that could be replicated around the country.

The cooperation between you as a committee and the residents of the 3 main estates is exemplary and will serve all well in the years ahead.

Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes / Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí:

Entrance in from Rathowen has that village welcome blue and white sign that one now associates with Longford.

This like the other entrances into the village from Edgesworthstown and Abbeyshrule was presented to a very high standard with the basics of good upkeep adhered to.

The Japanese Knotweed area has been well flagged on the road in from Edgesworthstown and one has to bear in mind the advice given as this invasive plant has a few destructive features.

That same road is enhanced by the lovely stone wall further in, planting feature at the bridge and the grass margin cut back nicely and in accordance with recommend practice.

The Abbeyshrule entrance has its own features that make it attractive in its own right.

The work that you have done in this category since last year has earned you an additional mark.

Concluding Remarks:
It was a pleasure to pay a first visit to the village of Legan and experience the peacefulness of a rural village at its best.

Well done to the community for the pride of place that it has in its own place and this was very much reflected in the way people looked after individual premises and communal areas alike.