2014 - Newtowncashel - Co. Longford

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Tidy Towns Competition 2014

Adjudication Report

Centre: Newtowncashel Ref: 485
County: Longford Mark: 311
Category: A Date : 30/06/2014, 25/07/2014

                                              Maximum Mark             Mark  Awarded  2013    Mark Awarded  2014
Overall Development Approach           60                                    46                              47
The Built Environment                       50                                    38                              40
Landscaping                                     50                                    44                              44
Wildlife and Natural Amenities            50                                    31                              33  
Waste Minimisation                           50                                    11                              15
Tidiness & Litter Control                    90                                    60                              62
Residential Areas                              50                                    28                              29
Roads, Streets and Back Areas           50                                    40                              41

TOTAL MARK                                   450                                  308                            311

Community Involvement & Planning / Rannpháirtíocht an Phobail & Pleanáil:

Newtowncashel is welcomed to the 2014 Tidy Towns competition.  Thank you for your well presented application
and supporting documentation.  Your committee of 12 and 25-30 volunteers makes Newtowncashel unique in that
the entire community are part of the committee, given that you have a population of 50.  You are also fortunate to
have workers dedicated to the enhancement of the village.  Your engagement with the local authority, local
businesses and networking with other Tidy Towns groups such as Ballymahon, provides valuable support to your
group through advice, funding and other assistance that maybe necessary throughout the year.  The School
involvement as you state compliments the work of the Tidy Towns committee.  The village is set in lush countryside
with its winding roads edged by stone walls and wooden railings.  This together with the many mature trees and
beautiful sculptures are part of the village landscape, which thankfully have been restored to their glory, gives the
village its own uniqueness.  The new lighting system installed in the village is the result of many years of planning
and the committee are to be commended on this project.

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

The built environment and streetscape does not disappoint the visitor. The presentation of J. Hopkins shop gives a
lovely approach to the village. Thomas Ashe Hall purchased last year, an important amenity for the area is
decorated to a high standard. A noticeboard outside the hall provides essential contacts for the community.  The
G.A.A. centre is well maintained. The Church and its grounds are impeccable.  The Health Centre building would
benefit from flower displays to brighten the appearance. The local shop was well presented.  The amenity at the
Quarry offers educational features on stonework and the many nooks and crannies for the visitor to explore is
superb. You are to be condemned on your continued work to develop and keep this area. The adjudicator was
saddened to hear about your missing statue. The corner butterfly garden is another place of interest with a suitable
array of plants which will facilitate and provide a charming setting for many insects and birds.  The mounded green
area again offered more interesting features and provides nice picnic amenities. The area around the picnic tables
would be easier to maintain if they were placed on a hard surface and not on grass.  The new energy efficient street
lighting with its no overhead wires gives a whole new dimension to the village and compliments the entire
streetscape.  The site of the heritage centre still has its sign in place. Adjacent to this are some old farm
implements positioned to the right of the magnificent Rose garden. Perhaps an information board on their title and
usage in past times would make interesting reading for the community and visitors to the area.
Well done on your endeavour to maintain the closed pub in the village, hopefully the doors will be open again by
next year’s competition.

Landscaping and Open Spaces / Tírdhreachú agus Spásanna Oscailte:

The village with its rural setting has superb landscaping in the mature trees and hedging that form the village
boundary. Landscaping throughout the village using year round seasonal planting is commended.  Many areas of
colourful plants were noticed, in particular the lovely blue hydrangeas at the house across from the G.A.A centre.   
The recessed flower beds in the walls were also noted. The weeping tree and wildflowers in Butterfly Park looked
splendid.  The beautiful landscaping at the village entrances sets the scene for the village as one approach. The
copper beech trees make a good contrast against the grey stonewall, but planting of flowers under trees is not
recommended.  Around the G.A.A there is excellent planting of hedging.  Do try and avoid the over use of weed
killer around edges as it was noticeable around the gravel area at the G.A.A pitch.  With so many flower beds to be
maintained your “adopt a bed” solution was good thinking. It gives responsibility for the caring of flower beds to
allocated members of the community.

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

Quarry Park provides a natural setting for wildlife as well as providing an amenity area for the community.  The
newts and frogs were just some of the wildlife noticed in the park.  One wonders how much wildlife is actually living
in the rock of the quarry along with the stone walls that border the village.  Many birds could be heard in the Quarry
Park and the Butterfly garden was humming from the sound of birds.  Your study on wildflowers with a horticultural
expert of flora and fauna in the area will be very interesting when concluded.  Have any members of you group been
involved in this study?  The Quarry with its unspoilt natural surrounding provides a safe haven for all types of wildlife
and this was evident on adjudication day as many birds were both spotted and heard.  The bees were also spotted
in the wildflower areas around the park.

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

Thank you for your copy of results of waste audit carried out in 2013.  It is good to carry out these audits and better
to note from the results that more people are composting now than before and this proves that more and more
people are becoming aware on the importance of recycling.  The Green Schools programme is a superb educational
tool for pupils and the wider community on managing waste and the more efficient use of resources.  The harvesting
of rainwater which you are aware of and using will be an important saving to all Tidy Towns groups.  With water
charges being introduced it is essential for groups to harvest rainwater for the watering of plants. A long term plan
would be a move away from bedding plants that require large volumes of water.  This will save water and funds and
hopefully will filter through to the wider community.  Groups should look at how the amount of food that is wasted
can be reduced, such as buying unnecessary food and using leftover food where possible instead of bringing it to
landfill sites.  The local authorities prevention network website have added a specific Tidy Towns page to this
website providing practical tips and advice on sustainable waste and resource management. The website address is
http://localprevention.ie/tidy-towns/ . This hopefully will be of benefit to groups.

Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:

Your vigilance on litter is proving successful.  The Schools involvement is also proving that educating the youth to
refrain from dropping litter on the ground and using bins is excellent as it stays with them into adult life.  Litter free
towns and villages are less likely to be littered by passers-by.  Well done on your dawn patrol and the wider
community awareness.  The village was tidy on the day of adjudication.  No weeds were noticed at kerbs and no
overhead wires.  The bring bank was neat and tidy.  Do ensure that overhanging briars over stone walls along the
footpath are cut back.

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

The village can be proud of its residences throughout.  They are all well maintained to a very high standard.  Your
committee are doing excellent work in maintaining unoccupied dwellings.  Thankfully the village has no unfinished
estates with all stand alone houses.  The gardens are bright and neat.  Their landscaping brings excellent colour to
the streetscape.

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

The approach roads to the village are presented to a high standard with well-maintained grass verges.  The stone
walls and wooden palings together with neat hedging and mature trees forms a boundary for the village and gives a
good first impression as you enter from any direction.  Some wooden railings, behind the trees on the Lanesborough
approach road are in need of repair.  The village pumps give an old feel and forms part of the village history which
make nice focal points.

Second Round Adjudication:

It has been at least ten years since I last visited Newtowncashel and it remains resplendent. Tucked away in rural
Longford it is certainly a jewel in the surrounding boglands. Numerous bog oak carvings allude to the environs and
effectively turning the villalgescape into an art gallery. This is followed through in the wonderful amenity that is The
Quarry Park – a true oasis. The access gateway should be kept clear of overgrowth. Buildings throughout the village
are neatly presented including the pub, shop church and hall. Please ensure that paintwork is refreshed as required,
for instance, the white pillars at the cemetery, Health Centre, blue gates and the school should be repainted for next
year competition. You are highly commended for the vast swathes of grassy banks, which are maintained to the
highest standard. Effective tree planting is also a feature through the relative wide geographical area that
Newtowncashel encompasses. Deep red dahlias were in abundance in the village and this has superb impact. The
residence at J. Hopkins looks fantastic, as do many of the residences throughout the village. Just two pieces of litter
were noted as the adjudicator passed a soft drinks can and a crisp packet at different locations on the Longford
approach. To add to the uniformity it is suggested that agricultural gateways should be uniform in presentation in so
far as possible. At the moment these have varying degrees of tidiness. You are commended for embracing the
unusually bright ‘blue’ of public lighting and street furniture. Congratulations on your success to date in the
Supervalu Tidy Towns Competition perhaps you will regain the top title in the coming years? Best of luck.

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