Monday 19 February 2018

Good and bad: what the judges said

Wexford Credit Union and, to the right, the Revenue office.
Wexford Credit Union and, to the right, the Revenue office.

Ballymurn: 265 points out of 400; last year 263. Category B: Population between 201 and 1,000.

Your entry form conveys an impression of your village that is not shared by the adjudicator. Although you find fault with road surfaces in the village there is more to Ballymurn than that. Landscaping, whether carried out by Ballymurn Tidy Towns or by householders, lifts the entire village. Your strategic buildings are well presented.Street furniture is good. The estates look well.

Lowest score 7 out of 20 for sustainable waste and resource management. Best: Litter control 41 out of 50.

Blackwater: 290 points our of 400; last year 282. Category A: Population below 200.

The team that do the landscaping do it with taste and sensitivity. Again, the bridge and its environs are the focal points. The projects/work outlined in your entry from were visited and admired. A lot of this work further enhanced river/millrace banks, '98 stone, barrels, pots and beds, Fox's garden, etc. Add the contribution made by the gardens of private residences, entrances to estates and floral displays on commercial premises and the combined result was a gloriously colourful Blackwater. You know what needs to be done to tackle litter in Blackwater. The Fás, Tús and designated volunteers form a committed team that achieve results in their war on litter. Well done to all involved.

Lowest score: 8 out of 20 for sustainable waste and management. Best: 42 out of 50 for the built environment.

Bree: 285 points our of 400; last year 283. Category A: Population below 200

You have an extensive programme of landscaping projects each year. They all combine to present Bree in a very tasteful, colourful summery look.

Like the elephant in the room reference has to be made to the grey corrugated agricultural structures in the centre of the village. They are beyond the capabilities of any Tidy Towns group, even one as accomplished as Bree's.

Well done on communicating your bio-diversity activity in the local newsletter and school. Your continuing battle with Japanese Knotweed is noted. Bree Tidy Towns can score more marks in this category with projects in the village. Bree Tidy Towns has enhanced the village further this year.

Lowest score: 10 out of 20 for sustainable waste and management. Best: Landscaping 41 out of 50.

Carrig-on-Bannow: 251 points out of 400; last year 251. Category B: Population of between 201 and 1,000

Your committee of 20 seems high for a village of your size but shows that the community thinks highly of the Tidy Towns competition. Having to clean cable ties, etc. left behind after elections is noted. Some tidy towns groups reach agreement with public representatives that no posters will be erected. Your entry form says that you have two Tús workers. In next year's entry from please tell us if they have a weed control programme in place. Few weeds were seen.

Like litter, graffiti requires a constant battle to keep it under control. As with litter, the battle may never be won but the battle must be relentless. Traffic flows well through the village. Environs clean and tidy.

Lowest score: 7 out of 20 for sustainable waste and rescource management. Best 38 out 50 for built environment.

Clonroche: 279 points out of 400; last year 277. Category B: Population between 201 and 1,000.

Your weed control programme is effective as none were seen on adjudication day. There was no graffiti or fly-posting evident. Clonroche is on a very busy main road but there were no traffic problems evident. The approach from Enniscorthy also had a 'Welcome to Clonroche' stone in a raised flower bed.

There was a matching raised bed on the opposite side of the road. Wide grassed verges on both sides but trimmed back only to a line of young staked trees on the left-hand approach. Good first impression of Clonroche.

The stretch of road leading from Main Street to this name stone is attractive. There is a long row of trees and a border of shrubs. More flower containers of various kinds also add to a good first impression.

Lowest score: 5 out of 20 for sustainable waste and resource management. Highest 44 out of 50 for landscaping.

Duncormick: 269 points out of 400; last year 267. Category A: Population below 200.

Landscaping in Duncormick is to a high standard throughout. Maintenance of the landscaped areas at the Taghmon-Kilmore Quay junction was under way on adjudication day. They are very well maintained and define the landscaping for the rest of the village. The elements are simple in themselves but they combine to make a major statement at this key approach to the village. The adjudicator visited the riverside area below the bridge, which has been partially cleared. It has potential as an amenity area, including a riverside walk in due course. The addition of information boards would be of great benefit. The community seems to be anti-litter conscious because there was no litter evident on adjudication day.

Lowest score: 6 out of 20 for sustainable waste and resource management. Highest 40 out of 50 for landscaping.

Foulksmills: 279 points out of 400; last year 275. Category A: Population below 200.

In terms of its size and visual impact the magnificent five-storey old mill building (1851) is the most significant structure in the built environment of Foulksmills. Although some may argue that the bridge is more significant. It still has the mill wheel beside it. The riverbank is landscaped and will be dealt with in that category. Considering its age, the mill building is very well preserved and presented. The old stone bridge with its three arches is magnificent.

The village park was developed by Foulksmills Tidy Towns and opened in 1987. It is very impressive. It would take a celebrity TV gardener to adequately describe it. The car park was spotless. The landscaping is impeccable. There were no weeds to be seen. There was no graffiti, fly-posting or inappropriate advertising.

Lowest score: 9 out of 20 for sustainable waste and resource management. Highest: 43 out of 50 for landscaping.

Oylegate: 234 points out of 400; last year 234 points.

It was an unexpected surprise to find such a lovely garden beside the church. Raphael's Healing Garden promises 'In quietness and in trust you will find strength' and it lives up to that promise. The landscaping is very attractive. The stream, bridge and statues are a centrepiece. There was some light littering evident in the village.

The two clothes recycling containers in the Slaney Inn car park were clean and tidy. Unfortunately, the recycling centre at the disused hall had four cardboard boxes, paint container, other tins, plastic bottles, damaged traffic cone and a broken wooden pallet around the containers. Ironically, there is a notice on the door of the disused hall near this recycling centre which says 'Wexford County Council. No dumping. Offenders prosecuted'.

Lowest score: 5 out of 20 for sustainable waste and management. Highest: 36 out of 50 for landscaping.

Rosslare: 286 points; last year 284. Category C: Small town population between 1,000 and 2,500.

On approach to Rosslare the new brown tourist information signs were noted, particularly the addition of the Irish language. The two derelict sites on Station Road have been enhanced. Improvements to the sport and recreation centre were noted and the centre was extremely busy on adjudication day. Car park was clean and tidy.

Your painting programme was extensive and the public toilets look better now but there is still a strong smell. Landscaping throughout the village is of a high standard and the adjudicator concurs with your comment that Kelly's Resort Hotel garden and landscaping is to a high standard. Generally houses are well presented and some have well stocked gardens. There is a good level of maintenance of grassed and landscaped areas. This adjudicator would like to see more trees being planted in these estates, including fruit trees to improve habitats

Lowest score 8 out of 20 for waste and resource management; Highest 43 out of 50 for landscaping.

Wexford: 273 points out of 400; last year 272. Category G

Hanrahan Railway Station has been improved at this key location in the town. Well done to all concerned.

However, there is a once-green corrugated iron shed that seems disused. If it could be 'disappeared' the area would be further enhanced. Main Street was walked and the refurbishment programme was admired. The Fettitt's Lane Street Art Project is a creative solution to improving the appearance of this lane. However, the graffiti artists got there before this adjudicator and they added embellishments to some of the artwork.

Revenue and Wexford Credit Union are next door neighbours. If I was a customer of the credit union I am not sure if I would want Revenue looking over my shoulder. Revenue's front door is flanked by two hanging baskets but the credit union, one of your sponsors, has no floral adornment. The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rowe Street, is impressive. Lots of well filled flower containers on top of the railings add colour. The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel is very weedy. The Wexford Opera House looks very well and would look even better if there were window boxes.

On adjudication day litter was spotted at the bottle bank in the car park near the swimming pool at Ferrybank. Three of the four containers were full and paper bags had been squeezed between them. An old umbrella lay on the ground. The grass in Redmond Square was neatly cut but there was some litter – plastic bottles, cigarette boxes, drinks cups. The worst example was the bottle/can bank in the car park of the Londis near the lane to Trespan Rocks. It was badly littered. At the end of the row of containers black plastic sacks are dumped with cardboard boxes, paper bags, etc. Plastic sacks, paper bags squeezed between containers.

Lowest score: 10 out of 20 for sustainable waste and resource management. Highest score: 40 out of 50 for landscaping.

Wexford People

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