Ballinamuck receive tidy towns results

Tidy Towns

Ballinamuck Tidy Towns group received their belated annual results last week

On Thursday, October 31, the Ballinamuck Tidy Towns team finally received their results, over one month after the official results were released.

Ballinamuck were one of seven areas omitted from the original judging process, due to what was described as an ‘IT glitch’ with the Department of Rural and Community Development’s email system.

The judges finally made their way to Ballinamuck, Co Longford, on October 16 to commence the judging process, with the time of year taken into account when grading. The Ballinamuck Tidy Towns team say they are ‘very happy’ with the report, receiving 287 marks in total.

They posted, “We are very happy with the report.

“The small committee work hard to try and maintain the standard each year, but also to make improvements and plan new projects for the next year. Enhancing the community for the community.

“Thank you to everyone who supported and helped us out this year. Your support is very much appreciated. We are always looking for members of the community to join us, so get in contact if you would be interested.”

In 2019, Ballinamuck gained an impressive 13 marks on their 2018 total. As a first time visitor to the area, the judge commented that he/she was very impressed with the overall presentation of the village.

“Well done to all involved in this year’s submission and we look forward to seeing your progress in 2020, especially with regard to your biodiversity plan recommendations. We see no reason why you cannot go from strength to strength in the competition.”

Residents were commended for the upkeep of their homes and roadside boundaries, with Clos Naomh Phadraig getting a special mention for keeping their communal area to a high standard.

The judges commented, “We look forward to seeing the suggestions in the biodiversity plan carried out here to improve the residential green spaces for biodiversity. The new homes are well designed and look very well and will bring new people to add to the vibrancy of the village.”

In terms of improvements to be made, the judges advised that the stop sign at the junction beside the 98 pub is in need of repair, while the brown welcome to Ballinamuck sign was looking ‘a little tired’ and shaded by adjacent trees. With the village also on a designated cycle route, adjudicators questioned if there was an opportunity to provide bicycle parking in the village.

They also advised to, “Ensure new hedgerows are planted to replace any removed to facilitate the works and to ensure the network of connected hedgerows in the village is maintained for biodiversity value.

Adding that, “The wall to the corner opposite the monument needs repairing at the bottom of the hill.”

In terms of tidiness and litter control, the village were commended for the little to no litter spotted on the day of judging. They were advised, however, to look into the introduction of a no-bin strategy.

In terms of sustainability, it was stated: ‘There is much that can be done to advance in this category’, while the team were encouraged to push the community to take part in the Green homes initiative.

The judges said: “Building on the success of the green schools programme is the green homes initiative which is also run by An Taisce. Try to encourage the community and parents of school children to take part in this programme by logging onto their website.”

The team were praised for all of the work carried out this year, resulting in the Ballinamuck Biodiversity plan.

“This is an excellent piece of work, as it is true that a community that understands its habitats is in a much better position to protect and enhance them. This work has gained you marks this year.”

In terms of green spaces and landscaping in the village, judges expressed their excitement at the ‘great feature’ to be finished at Gaigue cross, while also praising the appearance of the church grounds. The team were also praised for their work on streetscapes and public places.

“You have an active committee of 8 and are progressing works in many areas of the competition. We are glad to hear that participating in the competition has helped develop a sense of pride in your locality and awareness of your local environment.

In conclusion the judges commented, “Keep up all of your good work.”

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