TIDY TOWNS ADJUDICATION REPORT 2013/2012/2008/2009/2010/2011/

Tidy Towns Competition 2013

Adjudication Report

Centre:    Ballymore Eustace                   Ref:    357

County:    Kildare                                       Mark:     290

Category:     B                                             Date(s):     03/07/2013

                                                                Maximum    Mark        Mark
                                                                Mark         Awarded  Awarded
                                                                                    2012           2013

Overall Development Approach               50                38               39
The Built Environment                              50                37               38
Landscaping                                              50                39               40
Wildlife and Natural Amenities                50                36               37
Litter Control                                           50                 35               36
Sustainable Waste And Resource Mgt.     20                 10               11
Tidiness                                                   30                 17               17
Residential Areas                                     40                 32               32
Roads, Streets and Back Areas               50                  32              32
General Impression                                  10                    8                8

TOTAL MARK                                    400                284            290

Overall Development Approach:
Ballymore Eustace is welcomed to the TidyTowns Competition for 2013.  Thank you for your entry, map and copy of your new three year plan and supporting documentation which was very helpful to the adjudicator.Your group of six people as per photograph (looking very happy together with a core of volunteers) are working well with Kildare County Council, Fas and other relevant agencies that supply you with support and assistance. 
You communicate well with the community through newspapers and media.  Try using social media, texting and email as it will save you time.  The local businesses and community play a necessary part in the committees work and their support and sponsorship is a vital ingredient to your success.  Thank you for your positive
feedback on the competition and the importance of the TidyTowns competition to the village.  Increasing membership to the committee can be a difficult task with many groups, but once continuous support from volunteers and the community is on-going the group will succeed.  Wishing you well with your calendar of events
and in particular the forthcoming gathering, a reunion of old school pupils is wished success.

The Built Environment:
The Built Environment of the village is made up of a mix of old and new buildings all blending well to make an attractive streetscape.  Your work on unoccupied buildings has made the streetscape neat and tidy and much more presentable.  Market square is an important part of the town structure featuring a nice water feature
and is well landscaped.  St. Johns Church of Ireland and graveyard looked well.  The Thatch Restaurant with nice window boxes looked bright and welcoming.  Other pleasant buildings included the Village Store, Health Centre and the Credit Union.  The Church and Montessori School beside were well presented.  The Parish Centre another important facility for the community together with the School, all was well landscaped, neat and tidy.  The village pump which is an important feature of most towns and villages also adds splendour to the streetscape.

Landscaping:
The Landscaping throughout the village at Market Square with the water feature and landscaping of the Boat at the Liffey Bridge looked superb.  The Kilcullen Naas Road has a nice green area with pleasant bedding on the corner; wild flowers in this area were also admired.  Barrack Street is a particularly nice street with planting and trees.  The many window boxes and hanging baskets, the permanent and summer bedding plants which are part of the village landscape were noted and admired.  Looking at the photographs submitted with your entry the village looks very colourful during Autumn/Winter.  This type of planting is encouraged by the TidyTowns together with the planting of trees and hedging.  Well done to the winner of the best small garden in your competition which is situated at St. Brigids Park.

Wildlife and Natural Amenities:
The walk along the river is a lovely amenity for the community.  Entering the walk from Assumpta Terrace the adjudicator had a pleasurable walk along the river enjoying the nature of the river and the surrounds.  The proposed new wildlife interpretive signage for the river walk would add greatly to this lovely amenity.  The
wildflowers were also noted as was the wildlife on the river.  This is also an excellent facility for Scoil Mhuire and do include the schools in any future heritage or nature trails been developed.

Litter Control:
Litter in an on-going problem and hard to combat.  Creating awareness in the community and working with the schools is the right approach.  Conducting clean-ups in spring which include the community and school are important and also regular litter picks during the summer gets everyone involved.  Some groups have an “Adopt a road” with volunteers responsible for that road and it is working well.  The ‘clean-up after your dog’ signs were also noted.  On day of adjudication very little litter was noticed, with just a small amount in the square.  Well done on your work in this category.

Sustainable Waste And Resource Management:
Well done to the school on their achievements in the Green Schools Initiative.  The community are working closely with the school in reducing waste and this can help create awareness on the whole issue of waste.  The results of the survey should indicate areas where waste could be reduced.  The TidyTowns handbook offers useful information in this area.  Food is one of the areas where waste could be reduced.  Resource management in the areas of water, energy and transport can bring savings to the community.  Continue the work you are doing in this category concentrating on the top of the pyramid and look at ways of reducing.

Tidiness:
Some area of untidiness was noticed, nothing too major.  Weed growth at kerbs and car park gives an untidy look.  In the square there was a sliding door which needs painting.  Across from Barrack Street railing or barrier needs painting, also 50km sign needs attention.  The bottle banks were reasonably tidy.  The work at Ball Alley entrance and Old Mill piers was noted.  Well done also on work at Assumpta Terrace, paling and hedging looks neat and tidy.  Road surfaces on the Baltinglass Road and the Church Road were uneven.

Residential Areas:
The many areas of housing visited were admired.  Liffey Heights /Liffey Court were all well maintained as was Assumpta Terrace which was well presented.  There were some lovely houses with nice window boxes and hanging baskets such as Hillcrest.  Barrack Street had lovely well maintained houses with nice landscaping. 
Rose Cottage and the house with the blue door looked well.  There was a lovely mix of single storey and two storey houses all adding their own uniqueness to the streetscape of the village.  Well done to all the residents for their work in this category, it shows they have pride in the village.

Roads, Streets and Back Areas:
As stated under tidiness there are some uneven road surfaces.  The resurfacing of Main Street was noted as was the new footpath and pedestrian lights near the school. Approach roads were well presented with neat grass verges.  Kilcullen/Naas Road had some nice bedding and wildflowers.  Nameplate signs for the village need to be put in place on all roads into the village.

General Impression:
Ballymore Eustace was a pleasure to visit and has the potential to progress further in the competition.  Thank you for participating and you are wished continued success.

Tidy Towns Competition 2012

Adjudication Report

Centre:          Ballymore Eustace                            Ref: 357

County:         Kildare                                              Mark 284

Category:      B                                              Date(s) 21/06/2012

                                                                Maximum  Mark        Mark
                                                                Mark         Awarded    Awarded
                                                                                 2011          2012
Overall Development Approach               50            38              38
The Built Environment                             50            36               37
Landscaping                                              50            39               39
Wildlife and Natural Amenities                50            36               36
Litter Control                                            50             34              35
Tidiness                                                     30             17              17
Waste Minimisation                                  20             10              10
Residential Areas                                      40             32              32
Roads, Streets and Back Areas                 50             32              32
General Impression                                   10              8                8

Total Mark                                              400            282            284

Overall Development Approach:
Welcome Ballymore Eustace TidyTowns Group to the 2012 TidyTowns competition. Your entry is very much appreciated.
Your entry form is concise and the additional document that accompanied your entry form made interesting reading. Your current 3 year plan runs until the end of this year so your next 3 year plan will be from 2013 – 2015. If you do any work from the end of this year’s competition in September next then include it as valid for the 2013 competition. Please include a copy of your new 3 year plan with next year’s entry form.
We note that your committee now has 5 members, a small enough number to tackle all of the work you have planned. Your committee meetings are adequate for your needs and we note that you are a sub-committee of the Ballymore Eustace Community Development Association.
The agencies and organisations from which you get support are diverse, which is good.
You use appropriate local media to communicate. Please enclose copies of newsletters, press cuttings, etc. that mention your TidyTowns activities with your entry. These may be taken into account when marks are being decided and will be returned to you when the competition is over.
Your engagement with the school is very good. The pupils can be a very useful resource to your Tidy Towns group.
You are fortunate to have such generous financial supporters. Well done to all of them.
Your events are noted.

The Built Environment:
The repairs to Pinkeen Bridge were seen. Well done. Clearing the roots and improving the walk were also noted. This adjudicator used the steps to get to the walk and thanks you for repairing the handrail.
Maintenance of street furniture, landscaping, etc. is of a high order.
Ballymore Eustace is a very pleasant village and its public buildings and other buildings of note are well presented. The Millennium Garden would grace any village or town and is very well maintained. The Millennium Garden also merits comment in the Tidiness and Roads, Streets and Back Areas categories.
St. John’s C. of I. and cemetery are important attractions, particularly for the 2 High Crosses. All are well presented, neat and tidy. The information board was read with interest. The old stone walls were admired.
The gate was unlocked which was very trusting given the references in your entry to vandalism.
Church of the Immaculate Conception is in a key location in the village. It was well presented, neat, tidy.
The Parish Centre looked well and had 2 raised flower beds adding summer colour. Scoil Mhuire was flying its Green Flag and its grounds were neat, tidy and well maintained. No litter. The Garda Station is well presented. The cottages on Barrack Street are eye catching with hanging baskets and flower pots.

Landscaping:
The iconic landscaping feature is the rowing boat high and dry in its raised flower bed beside the bridge. It has a good floral display as cargo. There is nice landscaping at the Naas/Kilcullen Roads junction. Around the village there were planters with lots of flowers adding summer colour. Landscaping on approach roads will be dealt with in the Roads, Streets and Back Areas category. Your tree planting on the Kilcullen/Mount Cashel road was seen. You have a high maintenance workload which is often overlooked by visitors, and possibly some locals, when they stop to admire your landscaping.

Wildlife and Natural Amenities:
This adjudicator did the River Liffey Walk. The damage caused by such a small stream is awesome. It is an excellent amenity and hopefully it will be restored as soon as possible. Your wildlife flower planting along the walk is commended. The guided nature trail and heritage trail walks with the Scoil Mhuire pupils is also commended.

Litter Control:
The new “Clean up after your dog” and “No dumping” signs were seen. Litter outside shop on Chapel Street.
As mentioned earlier, please enclose with your entry form articles in the newsletter dealing with litter control.
Your clean up sessions and litter patrols are having the desired effect. There was very little litter in evidence in Ballymore Eustace on adjudication day. In your next TidyTowns entry please let us know the frequency of your litter controls. Well done to all involved.

Tidiness:
This adjudicator concurs with the comments made by last year’s adjudicator that the direction signs on the pole at the Millennium Garden be relocated. They are obscured by trees and each other and are an eyesore, detracting from the Millennium Garden, one of the key features in the village.
The Recycling Centre was clean and tidy. Handball Alley was also clean and tidy. No litter. The blue hoarding on Main Street is unfortunate. Unfinished developments are a blight on many towns and villages but are a national problem and not the responsibility of TidyTowns groups. The presence of these unfinished developments do not have an adverse impact on your marks.
Barrack Street – bollards need to be cleaned.
Direction signs at the Poulaphouca approach road junction need to be cleaned.

Waste Minimisation:
Please consult the TidyTowns handbook for advice and tips on this category. The first action point given on the entry form for this category is “Promotion of best practice”. TidyTown groups are expected to be proactive in communicating with their community, both villagers and retailers, the principles of waste minimisation. The waste pyramid used in the entry form to illustrate the relative importance of each option shows that recycling is a less favoured option than minimisation. Minimisation is about reducing the amount of material, including food, that enters Ballymore Eustace and ends up as waste. It also includes reducing consumption of energy, water, etc. Use the parish newsletter and any other communications method available to you. Ask the TidyTowns Unit for the booklet Race against Waste. A useful web site is www.stopfoodwaste.ie.
You published a recycling information sheet please enclose a copy with next year’s entry form as it will be of interest to the adjudicator.
The Household Waste Survey carried out in conjunction with Kildare County Council and Scoil Mhuire pupils was an excellent initiative. Please say in next year’s entry form what action, if any, is being taken as a result of the survey’s findings.

Residential Areas:
Many of the projects you list in this category are more appropriate to other categories and have already been dealt with e.g. River Liffey Walk, damage to Pinkeen Bridge, vandalised hand rail, etc.
Residential areas seen by the adjudicator include:
Hillcrest – very well presented residential cul-de-sac. Grassed areas well maintained. Well done to all.
Residences on Chapel Street are well presented. Cottages on Barrack Street are eye catching.
Assumpta Terrace/St Bridget’s Park – these are hidden gems of Ballymore Eustace. Good landscaping.
Grassed areas well maintained. Some of the houses have attractive floral displays despite all of the rain this summer. Well done to all concerned.
Liffey Heights Court: grassed area well maintained. Some planters. Neat, tidy, no litter.

Roads, Streets and Back Areas:
Some of the road surfaces in Ballymore Eustace are poor including those near the Millennium Garden, a key feature in the village.
Footpath improvements noted.
Approach road from Poulaphouca: “Welcome to” stone and black and white village name sign on a nicely landscaped area at the junction, they combine to create a very good first impression of the village. It is a pity about the disused commercial premises nearby which is an eyesore.
Bishophill Road approach: residences on this road are very well presented. The adjudicator noticed an old red waterpump on the road side. Very good first impression. Road surface poor.
Approach on Coughlanstown Road: No Ballymore Eustace village sign. Well kept verges.
Naas Road approach: “Welcome to” sign on grass verge. Young trees. Not a great first impression.
L6053: no speed limit sign to define TidyTowns boundary. KTK Ltd entrance enhances the overall first impression.
Kilcullen Road approach: No village name sign.
Baltinglass Road approach: No village name sign. Used speed limit sign to mark TidyTowns boundary.
Average first impression.

General Impression:
The issues raised in your entry form have been noted and many have been commented on elsewhere in this report.
Ballymore Eustace TidyTowns Group has made further progress in the TidyTowns Competition. We look forward to receiving your new three year plan and your entry into the 2013 TidyTowns Competition.
Thank you Ballymore Eustace TidyTowns Group.

Tidy Towns Competition 2008
Adjudication Report

Centre: Ballymore Eustace             Ref:  357
County: Kildare                           Mark:  262
Category:   B                            Date(s):     07/07/2008                                                    

  Max.Mark Mark 2008
Overall Development Approach 50 33
The Built Environment 50 35
Landscaping 50 38
Wildlife and Natural Amenities 50 34
Litter Control 50 32
Waste Minimisation 20 5
Tidiness 30 16
Residential Areas 40 30
Roads, Streets and Back Areas 50 31
General Impression 10 8
Total Mark 400 262

Overall Development Approach:
NOTE : You were in Category C last year. You have applied for Category B this year. This is correct, as your population is within the B Category threshold as per Census 2006.

Go raibh maith agaibh go leir! Thank you to Ballymore Eustace TidyTowns and to the community you represent for having given selflessly of your time in working towards entering Ballymore Eustace in this 50th anniversary year of the TidyTowns Competition!
Ballymore Eustace is a small village with a good number of people involved on your committee. Your submission has been put together in a very professional format. It is most interesting, and informative, clear and extensive. You have drawn on the resources of many bodies, agencies and local businesses, including your local authority. You list these for us in your submission. Obviously they hold your group in high regard. You have an extensive media coverage organised. Thank you for letting us have copies of relevant media coverage. We hope that you communicate with all churches attended by any of your residents. Well done on your website. Thank you for submitting your five year plan. It is a pity that you did not detail the consultation process involved in drawing up your Plan. We assume that you held public meetings in this regard, but this is not clear from your submission, nor is it clear from the plan itself. We assume that you have launched your plan. We hope that it was well received. You appear to have listed specific projects for 2008 and 2009 only, with the rest included as "ongoing", presumably 2008-2013. Your school is a great resource for you. Thank you for enclosing the happy photograph of all your great helpers at Scoil Mhuire! We note your concern with the paperwork. We think that you have done "overtime” in this area! As you are starting out with a new plan, and as you are therefore engaging in a lot of paperwork now, the load should lessen. We hasten to say that it is appreciated and has helped us as adjudicators get to know the village well. The fact that it has all been submitted in A4 format has made it easier to use, and the fact that it is so well presented is also to your credit. So you can tell your members that it has been worth the effort! Your festivals are diverse, and you appear to have the edge on other places in Kildare when it comes to attracting in visitors with the festivals you can access. Thank you for submitting a clear map in your plan. However individual projects might be highlighted on a larger scaled map.

 The Built Environment:
Ballymore Eustace is a truly lovely village with a very special character of its own.  A lot of the character comes from its hillside setting and its lovely stepped rows of houses. It has an old village structure to it, not evident in villages of similar population which have expanded primarily as residential centres. It has public buildings and services in proportion to its population, and this is also partly due to its busy equine centred hinterland also. The built environment has, in the main, been conserved. This aspect of the village is worth looking after in perpetuity, as it is what most confers unique status on Ballymore Eustace. The Local Area Plan recognizes the main buildings of note in its plan, but there are other groups of buildings and individual buildings which also contribute to the totality of the village structure, such as the pleasant two storey house on the left hand side of the Blessington approach road n the area of the Church of Ireland.  Your built heritage in the area is very interesting, and is a source of educational, amenity, and educational potential. This heritage is situated in its natural surrounds and has not been encroached upon. We know that you appreciate this aspect of your built heritage well. The Liffey bridge on the Southern approach is a lovely old arched stone bridge. The Church of Ireland is a landmark building on the Eastern approach with a good entrance area. There are good views across to the church and associated graveyard from BishopshilI Road. The Catholic church is a fine building in the centre of the village, and is presented well, having been worked on in the 1990s as you tell us. The church gates and railings, as well as the building look well. The grounds are a lovely setting and are well maintained. The Health Centre looks well with its stone walls and projecting stone wall. The Band Hall is clean, but it needs some planting to soften its outlines as seen in views from the approach road dose to the Church of Ireland.
Barrack Street has rows of lovely artisan cottages which are a delight in their maintenance and care. This care appears to extend to their rear curtileges also, as good views to lovely rear courtyards were observed. The Garda Barracks is a very attractive building on Barrack Street, has retained its fine sash windows: but they are in need of maintenance. Hopefully this can be encouraged. Almost opposite the Barracks is an old stone cottage, with a planning notice. This is also an uninhabited cottage which is being well presented in the interim, with black plywood inserts into the openings. Further along this street is a very charming old long cottage, also uninhabited with very clean off white walls. Lovely green plywood inserts have been placed here.  Another row of artisan cottages were very much admired in Chapel Street stepping down towards the Liffey Bridge. Almost at the bridge on the same side as the gate, is a lovely cottage with its sash windows retained and paned windows are retained in the equally attractive cottage opposite.
The Forge doors need a little paint. Scoil Mhuire is very well presented, as befits a Green Flag school.  The Ballymore Inn is attractive, as is the cottage uphill with its lovely planting and nice railings. Opposite, The Anvil premises needs painting and weeding, and a long off white two storey house with wooden gates in archway access to rear is also very good.  Main Street looks well.  At the bottom of Plunkett Road is an uninhabited house which Is well presented with its clean walls and black plyboard sheeting. Well done on taking advice on how to deal with such buildings.  Also well done to your local engineer for the good signage maintenance through out the village, including one just in front of this house with its traditional black and white stripes.  It is in a strategic location, and looks well. A stone building on Plunkett Road, (Southern side) looks well with its climbing roses. Two derelict sites uphill of this house did not look well.  Again uphill of these derelict sites were two very good cottages.  On Main St./The Square area, Gallery Gifts is a lovely and well cared for building retaining its sash windows. The property uphill of this was well presented, but unfortunately has PVC inserts. Reconstruction was taking place at the top of the Square at the same side (Corner Shop). Across the Main Street, Headon’s business premises, with its tall brick chimneys, brick window surrounds, and creeper covered shed is well presented.  Murphy’s looked very fresh and clean; the only draw back again – from a built heritage point-of-view – being the PVC inserts.  In front of Murphy’s an ugly pole detracts from the frontage. This is a village wide problem.  Wirescape and poles dominate the views of your lovely streets in many places. Undergrounding them is a very expensive project, but one we hope that you will achieve in time.  Your excellent built environment deserves this, and you have recognised this in your plan.  At the bottom of this "Square section" of Main Street, Murray’s pub forms a "stop". It is also well presented, as is "The Thatch" across the road.  A negative intrusion in this vista is the Quick Pick shop / petrol pumps.  Outside  were observed, several goods for sale cluttering the path. These included 2 litter bins, bales of compost on a stand, a coal bunker, and car oil etc. on a stand, briquettes, and other items for sale including flowers. There is a freestanding post-box close to the two petrol pumps. The signage is also excessive and includes advertising for garden goods (very large). There is also a large Bluegas sign on the gable facing downhill. There is also a canopy and a fabric screen attached to the shop front, and on the path.  It is clear that the premises provides a much needed service to the village and surrounds. However, most people know what it sells, and do not need all these reminders.  Perhaps you can come to some compromise with the owners/occupiers with regard to rationalisation.  It is also makes the footpath at this area very unfriendly for people with mobility issues. And the clutter in a very small space jars with the overall clean lines of the Square.  Further down the Square and just around the corner from the Pharmacy is a building under reconstruction. The materials, fenestration, and door type being provided are inappropriate to the vernacular design of all other buildings in the Square. This is a pity, as the site is strategic in visual terms.
The spotlights protruding from Costcutters look out of place in this vernacular village street. Could strip downlighting be recessed into shop front?  Posters in shop windows can cause a cluttered look. The gates at the bottom of Chapel Street on the left hand approach to the bridge are good iron gates, and should be conserved. They need painting and some repair, and the pillar is cracked.  At the outer edge of the village the property Country Kitchens was admired, both in its new use and in its maintenance and presentation. Be careful with the type of street and road signs proposed. It would be good if you could commission a purpose made sign appropriate to the area – perhaps in stone.  And we are glad that they will be bilingual. You obviously have residents who have an interest in Irish.  We hope that they will contribute to your moving forward in this area also. Some local authorities have Irish Officers. We do not know if your local authority has such. Throughout the village you are using black street furniture with a "heritage" theme. It is suggested that this style is more reminiscent of English towns and villages than of Irish heritage towns, so if you are considering further lights, bear this in mind. With regard to the colour, black is the most difficult colour for somebody with visual impairment to see, so we would suggest that you reconsider using a brighter colour. Perhaps Ballymore has a team co
lour you could adopt? The Millenium Garden is an interesting feature at the top of Main Street.  You are very lucky to have such an eminent sculptor as Imogen Stewart to work amongst you. Well Done! The juxtaposition of water, stone, and greenery is very effective, and the local connotation of the head of the Liffey is a great example of how heritage, public art and renewal can work well together. 
We are not particularly impressed with the chequered paving being applied to the footpaths. We consider that, in its fussiness, it detracts from your excellent building stock, and its classical simplicity. We have written a lot under this heading as we feel your greatest strength is in your built environment, which so few villages still hold intact. Do take care of it!  We laud your ideas of "How to develop a village with intelligence" on your website.

Landscaping:
Ballymore Eustace has a distinct natural advantage in the fact that it is a village located in unspoilt area in the East Kildare uplands on the river Liffey in its rural upland way. Despite its proximity to the more urbanized parts of the county, the village has really retained its rural ambience largely through the maintenance of its lovely landscaped approaches, stone walls and hedgerows, together with its waterside amenities, as well as through the maintenance of its village built fabric, curtilege size and old plantings The vegetation is native and unspoilt. The tree cover is of mainly native deciduous species. Maybe a Sli na Slainte route could be developed in the environs of Ballymore Eustace.
Your own landscaping of the village area, especially in the Square and in the area of the church grounds, is very appropriate to the village. We are particularly impressed that you are not overusing the more urban landscape forms of baskets and tubs. You do not need these in such a natural setting. An excellent and restrained example of hanging baskets was observed in a simple pair of hanging baskets near the Garda Barracks, on a very well maintained cottage already referred to under "Built Environment" The window boxes, simple and classical containing a splash of red were also very much admired in the cottage in a row near the bridge (again referred to above).  Well Done!  We are less sure about the baskets on the "heritage" lights, which tend to clutter the skyline.
The planting at the Millennium Garden is simple and appropriate, and breaks up visually a large expanse of road surface.  All your planted spaces were well maintained on adjudication day. Thank you for telling us about your spring plantings, both at the Millennium Garden and elsewhere.
The trees in the vicinity of the Church of Ireland are a great asset to the visual amenities of the higher part of the village.
We note your plans to plant the Kilcullen Road.
The River Walk is a fantastic amenity, and we can see how difficult it would be for you to maintain any extension, but given your enthusiasm for work it is hard to see you saying "no".  Do remember to include any new residents in "plantathons’ or such like – even if they do not want to get involved as members.
Well done on the native tree planting undertaken this year, and on the bulb planting on the approach roads. What is nicer than a Spring daffodil welcome to a village or town!
The planting at the entry to the village in the stone bed, and in the river boat is very attractive. The approaches to the village all have either stone or natural hedging boundaries. These are excellent.

Wildlife and Natural Amenities:
You have achieved what you set out to do in 2007, and produced an excellent Ecological Assessment of your village. KELT (your local LEADER company) is to be congratulated for their assistance. The authors regretted not being able to access private lands. However, if you achieve the conservation of the ten sites in the foreseeable future, you will have achieved a lot. The adjudicator was sorry not to be able to take the pocket guides out and walk the sites in detail!  As expected, the Church of Ireland churchyard was found to be one of the outstanding wildlife habitats. Your riverside location is a birdwatcher’s Paradise. We are delighted to hear that you are planning a nature/biodiversity trail around the village. Take advice with regard to interpretation in its signage aspects, as it would be a shame to destroy the visual aspects through inappropriate signage. Do not rush this process, and perhaps you might be able to engage some talented local artists again to advise you in this area. Take advice also from your area engineer with regard to maintenance etc.
The river enhancement programme is a good example of how different agencies can work together towards a common good. We look forward to the bird and bat boxes in the future, and to the new wildflower areas.

Litter Control:
Litter control on adjudication day was excellent.  We are delighted that you have your Green School and Junior G.A.A. to help you out in this.  We note that you have approached your local authority for assistance in dealing with litter issues. They will be a source of help and advice. Perhaps you could organise a Litter Seminar with the Litter Warden of your local authority.  We also note your plan to publicise your work in this area.
You have worked well towards litter control. Well done on providing recycling location advice. We hope that Autumn 2008 will provide you with your own facilities as you state.

Waste Minimisation:
You are promoting recycling where possible. Thank you for enclosing the data you published in the Ballymore Bugle re facilities. Do you know what per centages are recycled in the village? What arrangements are made for people who do not have transport?  We hope that you will get your recycling area.  Well done on the composting initiatives near the cemetery. We are glad you have home recycling bins. Well done to your local shop for helping to recycle clothes. Waste minimisation is about more than not having litter in your street or indeed recycling.  It involves the prevention of litter accumulation in the first case. It is really what it says – to minimise on waste production before we, as a community, private or public create it in the first case. You might refer to the Race Against Waste booklet available from the TidyTowns Unit of the Department of the Environment, Heritage, and Local Government.  Consider organising or attending a Waste Minimisation Workshop with your local authority. In your local school there will be opportunities to involve the students in an effort to work towards this end.
Perhaps you might prepare a flyer/newsletter on this subject? As a local community you could look at some innovative and simple ideas such as organising a "Bring and Take Day". This would involve using a local hall /community centre for instance for a day – where everybody brings items they have no further use for, but which other people might want (and which under normal circumstances they might get rid of as waste) and put them on display.  The corollary is that somebody else needs these items. No monies change hands.  Website versions of this idea have been set up in places also.  Another group collected all broken crockery, and made a mosaic in their local area. You can gain marks by doing some of these things for 2009.

Tidiness:
In general the village and its surroundings were very tidy.
A large temporary sign at the Millennium Garden was not an addition. The rash of signs erected on the business premises already referred to are not adding to the beauty of the Square.
The road traffic signs are excellent and a credit to your local authority.
Footpaths and verges as well as stone walls and hedgerows were in general well cared for, and the public buildings – church and school were very good. The paving works and building works in the village took from the overall tidiness, but you are not penalised for these ongoing and necessary works, and as such they were kept in a tidy condition.
There was no graffiti in evidence in the centre of the village. This is good.
The river walk, particularly at the bridge area needs considerable tidying.
There was some broken fencing at the village end of the Naas Road
The remarks about untidiness in the built environment above are relevant here also. The paths and verges throughout the village were generally well weeded.

The old factory business building at the Blessington entrance is probably the worst example of untidiness in the village, and this at an important entrance. The windows have been poorly boarded, and the wall is dirty. The boundary fencing is broken in places, and the site itself is scrubby and weedy, as is the perimeter boundary area. The triangle in front has too many signs and looks disorderly. However due to roadworks this may in time be rationalised.  Remarks re tidiness and untidiness in the Roads etc. Section are also to be considered here.

Residential Areas:
The residences of the village are very well maintained in general, both those in the streets, those on the approaches, and those in the few estates. We have already referred to some of the welt presented private dwellings throughout the village. Hillcrest was admired with its nice plantings to the front of the estate. The pump in this general area is well maintained. St. John’s  Park off, Chapel Street is beautifully landscaped, and there are lovely plants on the church wall facing the houses. A particular house (2nd house) with trees and a great garden was admired.  Well done on your tree planting programme with Liffey Heights estate.

Roads, Streets and Back Areas:
The approach from Blessington is mixed with the wonderful church and the poor factory site as already described.
There are lovely views across to the church from the Bishophill Road. A farm gate here in the foreground of views could be improved. A good farm building forms a road edge along this road at one point closer to the village with good black railings and gate opposite.
There is a very good "Welcome to Ballymore Eustace” sign on this approach.
There is good planting at the cottage at the junction near Barrack Street entrance.
The Coughlanstown Road approach is a little untidy.
The Naas Road approach looks well, and the splayed planted access to KTK site is lovely. Pudding Lane has some lovely private garden embankments with shrubbery and well maintained grass banks. The village sign needs improvement at this entrance.
The Kilcullen approach is trimmed and tidy. The old joinery needs repainting and screening.
The bridge area is very attractive, and generally well cared for.
Whereas comment has been made re choice of colour/design for paving, you are probably glad to be now in a position to have new footpaths.

General Impression:
Ballymore Eustace has a great natural advantage of location and heritage. We know that you are aware of this richness. The Plan is your blueprint.  However a lot of what is proposed is as yet aspirational, as the plan only starts in 2008.  Good luck with all your ventures! You are approaching the tasks ahead in an organized manner. We also feel that there is a good community spirit to build upon, and a lot of what makes for success is on-the-ground work. You are shown by the current condition of the village to be hard workers, ever before you put your thoughts on paper!  We would encourage you to continue to seek the excellent advice which is available to you from your local authority on many issues – be it Conservation, Heritage, Environmental issues and others. You will also have the new residents to help you and to bring new ideas and manpower to your ranks. We appreciate the problems you have to face for the common good especially with regard to water and sewerage works, but you are not complainers, and you work with gusto!

   Tidy Towns Competition 2009
   Adjudication Report

Centre:         Ballymore Eustace                       Ref:  357
County:        Kildare                                         Mark:  274
Category      B                                                 Date(s) 18/06/2009

     
                                                       Maximum                 Mark  
                                                       Mark                        Awarded 2009
Overall Development Approach        50                           36
The Built Environment                       50                           36
Landscaping                                     50                           39
Wildlife and Natural Amenities          50                           35
Litter Control                                    50                           34
Waste Minimisation                           20                            7
Tidiness                                             30                          16
Residential Areas                               40                          31
Roads, Streets and Back Areas          50                         32
General Impression                             10                          8

TOTAL MARK                               400                       274

Overall Development Approach:
Thank you for your entry to the 2009 TidyTowns Competition, Ballymore Eustace. As expected, you continueto go from strength to strength! It is noted from your entry form that your overall development approach is good, with 9 committed members and a good action plan to implement. However, some additional suppor may be useful for major projects such as the river walk so have you considered a recruitment drive? You are encouraged to take advantage of the groundswell of support locally and enlist some new members. It is good to see that you are enjoying very strong support from a wide range of diverse Councils (Kildare, Dublin City), agencies (KELT, Fas) and other organisations and local businesses. This illustrates your good organisation and the high levels of confidence that local people and business have in you. In the adjudicators view, this is an acknowledgement of your hard work and your success in this competition. Well done. The participation of the School is also noted and one hopes that their involvement will continue.
Thank you for your very detailed entry form, which was a great help. The adjudicator notes that an improvement is possible on giving clear timeframes for each project. Whilst you have referred to each project, when each project will be started and completed in less clear. Remember that it is acceptable (and indeed encouraged) to approach major projects in separate phases, so don’t be afraid to do this. Given the likely scarcity of resources in future years, it will be increasingly important for Committees to set practical and achievable priorities in their work programmes. Therefore, it is recommended that a table (of 2 – 3 pages in length) is included in your Plan, which sets out clearly and concisely what projects are proposed over the next 3 – 5 years under the TidyTowns Headings. Projected start and completion dates should be included.
Two final compliments are necessary. Firstly, the means of communication adopted by the Committee is first class – your approach to and embrace of new technology has no doubt had a positive influence on the numbers of people participating at a local level. Secondly, your map was of the highest standard and was a great help to the adjudicator on the day of assessment.

The Built Environment:
The Built Environment of Ballymore Eustace is a major asset to the village. In the view of the adjudicator, the strength of Ballymore Eustace is a combination of factors which taken together give a very distinctive and one of the most attractive villages in the county. Firstly, the number of high quality buildings on view mean that the streetscapes are original and distinctive – of particular note are Headons Bar, the Ballymore Inn, the Art Gallery and Paddy Murphys. Secondly, the fact that so many historical buildings have been retained means that the terraces of buildings are intact. This is a rarity in modern Ireland, particularly in the Greater Dublin Area and one hopes that the buildings can continue to be preserved. In view of the number of Protected Structures identified in the village, it is recommended that the option of establishing an Architectural Conservation Area in Ballymore Eustance should be explored with Kildare County Council.
Of course, retaining the original streetscapes provides a series of challenges. The most visible of which is vacant and derelict properties. It was observed during the site inspection that there are a noticeable number of derelict and vacant properties and your efforts to undertake remedial work and painting on some of these buildings is applauded. Your detailed comments on the other vacant / derelict properties are noted and the adjudicator encourages the Committee to continue to work closely with both the Council and the Building owners to get these buildings refurbished and back into active use.
We agree with the comments of the previous years adjudicator with respect to the wire scape and would like to see it included as a medium to long term project in your action plan. As putting wires underground can be costly, it may be prudent to complete this project in phases or as resources become available. A similar approach could be adopted with respect to the lamp standards in the villages. Finally, the varied finishes of pavements in the village centre was noted, with paths being finished in paving, tarmac, cobble and concrete slabs. As a long term project, it is recommended that a consistent finish is selected (one that is appropriate to the built environment of the village) and in future when pavements are being repaired or relaid, a consistent standard can be adhered to.

Landscaping:
The Committee have certainly been working hard in this category for the 2009 TidyTowns Competition.
Attractive and well maintained planting was observed on the approach roads from Naas (outside KTK) and at the junction of the Bishopshill and Poulaphouca Road (along with the bilingual name stone). The planted boat at Ballymore Bridge (close to the junction of the Kilcullen and Broadleas roads) added a gorgeous splash of summer colour to this approach to Ballymore Eustace. Well done. The landscaped grounds of the Church
were also a credit to all involved.
The shrubbery bed at the junction of the Naas Road and the Coughlanstown Road was also observed and the landscaping in the school grounds was considered to be very attractive and it makes a positive contribution to this category. The adjudicator was also impressed with the high levels of maintenance and landscaping on view in a large number of the gardens in the village.

Wildlife and Natural Amenities:
The many mature trees within the village were observed to make an excellent contribution to wildlife. The proposals for this category were noted in the entry form and the Committee are to be congratulated on their tree planting scheme, which appears to have an emphasis on native species. There is no doubt that additional trees will make an excellent contribution to wildlife habitats. The Committee are also to be commended on their management of the hedgerows on the approach roads to the village.
The Millennium Garden in the centre of the village is excellent and is a credit to your committee. It was clear to the adjudicator that the facility is maintained to a high standard and it also seems to make a significant contribution to wildlife and natural amenity. There is no doubt that the Cemetery is also an important habitat and it is heartening to see that the Committee are aware of the importance of structures like nature stone walls to biodiversity and habitat preservation. However, although there is a reference to the biodiversity study in 2007, it was noted with disappointment that this was not submitted. We would encourage you to submit all relevant information with your entry form each year.
The riverside walk appears to be a key element for Ballymore Eustace and the Committee are to be commended on their work in this area. There is no question that it is a hotbed of biodiversity and it is an important habitat. Well done on your planting of buttercups, which you identified as an ideal plant for an acquatic environment. Your comments regarding signage are noted, but it is the view of the adjudicator that the 2008 report recommended that only ‘inappropriate signage’ be avoided. Therefore, appropriately designed and located directional signs should be considered as they would enable visitors and locals alike to identify the location of the walk. In addition, high quality information boards could also be considered. Congratulations on the production of your heritage and nature trail leaflets, which are of high quality. The partnership approach of the TidyTowns and the local angling club and the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board is to be commended –
as close co-operation between voluntary and statutory bodies is necessary for environmental improvements.
Keep up the good work.

Litter Control:
A very high standard of litter control was observed in Ballymore Eustace as no litter was evident on adjudication day. This litter free environment is a reflection of the hard work of the Committee (and their many helpers!) who carry out and organise daily litter pick ups and take part in the National Spring Clean Initiative.
Well done to all involved in this strong performance.

Waste Minimisation:
There is no question that Ballymore Eustace continues to underperform in this category and as a result, it represents a major opportunity to the committee to improve on marks. The efforts of the Committee with respect to projects in 2009, i.e. the high take up of recycling services, the availability of a clothes bank, the distribution of the Naas Green Guide and the Composting site in St, Marys Cemetery are noted. These represent steps in the right direction. However, more could be done and the Committee should consider trying to identify potential sites for a bottle bank and organising a local seminar or workshop on waste reduction (through Kildare County Council). Additional ideas can be found in the ‘race against waste’ booklet.

Tidiness:
The extensive efforts of the TidyTowns Committee in this area are acknowledged and their commitment to addressing very difficult problems (such as derelict and vacant buildings) is to be applauded. The smaller jobs were also visible as weeds on the streets and pavements were kept to a minimum, signage was generally in good shape and the bollards in the village centre were freshly painted. It is noted from your plan that newsignage was to be erected in 2009. Has this taken place?
Some improvements are possible in the following areas; the layby opposite the KTK facility on the Naas approach road accommodates some heaps of spoil and is untidy looking, while the verge outside the school a little further along this road is untidy. On Truce Road, a small number of untidy walls and yards were observed, while the poor definition between parts of the footpath and road on this road also contributed to the
untidy appearance. On Plunkett Road, the garden of one property in particular (adjacent to dil cnoc avon) was rather overgrown and in need of maintenance. Finally, it was noted with disappointment that the entrance to the walk at Ballymore Bridge continues to look untidy.

Residential Areas:
The small number of residential areas in Ballymore Eustace were presented to a good standard on the day of adjudication. The name stone, landscaping and maintenance at Hillview was considered to be good, but Liffey heights and Court were not considered to be up to the high standards of elsewhere in Ballymore as some weeds and graffiti were noted, while the cul de sac sign was in need of a wash.

Roads, Streets and Back Areas:
The approaches to the village were generally considered to be good, with a high standard of maintenance visible on the verges. As referred to in the built environment section, the pavements in the centre of the village need a consistent treatment in the event of repair or replacement. It was also observed that the road surface on parts of Barrack Street and Truce Road in particular was in poor condition, whilst the pavements were in poor condition outside the derelict sites in Barrack Street. While these matters do not significantly detract from the overall appearance of the village, it is recommended that the Committee continue to discuss these issues with the Council.

General Impression:
Ballymore Eustace continues to improve in leaps and bounds and this is clearly due to the hard work andorganisation of the Committee and the support that they enjoy at a local level.

Tidy Towns Competition 2010
Adjudication Report

Centre:Ballymore Eustace                                   Ref:  357                                                      
County: Kildare                                                  Mark: 279
Category: C                                                        Date(s):  07/06/2010                             

                                                  Maximum       Mark                  Mark
                                                  Mark              Awarded            Awarded
                                                                         2009                  2010 
Overall Development Approach   50                  36                      37
The Built Environment                  50                  36                      36
Landscaping                                50                  39                      39
Wildlife and Natural Amenities     50                  35                      35
Litter Control                               50                 34                       34
Waste Minimisation                      20                   7                       10
Tidiness                                        30                 16                       17
Residential Areas                          40                 31                       31
Roads, Streets and Back Areas     50                 32                       32
General Impression                        10                   8                         8
Total Mark                                  400               274                     279

 Overall Development Approach:
Ballymore Eustace is welcome to the 2010 National Tidy Towns Competition. Thank you for your most comprehensive submission, it is clear from it that the committee is dedicated and highly motivated regarding the management of their lovely village and work hard in coordinating the efforts of all community stake-holders. Congratulations in particular on your work with the schools, the Angling Association, various sporting groups, local business and statutory bodies. We wish you every success in the implementation of your excellent plan.

The Built Environment:
There are many fine examples of attractive shopfronts in Ballymore Eustace and those that come to mind immediately include the Ballymore Café Bar, Gallery and Gifts, Headons, The Thatch and Mick Murphy’s, however the two plastic neon beer signs should be removed or replaced with more appropriate signage on the latter premises. Public buildings such as the church and the school looked well also and enjoy good maintenance. There are far too many signs on the roadside façade of the Post Office premises, at the time of adjudication five were counted. Your representation to the Chief Superintenant Naas regarding the Garda station and your liaison with Kildare County Council regarding premises of architectural merit have been noted.

Landscaping:
The Imogen Stuart designed landscaped area in the Market Square (Millennium Garden) is a beautiful development and in the view of this adjudicator appropriate to the townscape of Ballymore Eustace. Colourful flower displays in containers of all types both on properties and on footpaths and other areas are complemented beautifully by more permanent planting (shrubs and trees). Young trees are maturing well at the entrance from the Naas road and those at the KTK landfilll site are maturing nicely. Flowerbeds, especially those at the entrance from the N81 look beautiful. Landscaping at Country Kitchens is appreciated also and well done to those responsible for landscaping in residential areas. In future planting programmes do keep in mind the importance of planting native trees and shrubs in order to support wildlife by providing diverse habitats.

Wildlife and Natural Amenities:
It is good to note your Biodiversity Study and further that you are in a healthy position to carry out the main recommendations. Heartiest congratulations on the compilation of a Nature Trail/Wildlife Walk around the village area together with a short Heritage Trail and thank you for your enclosures in leaflet form on these; we respect your plan regarding the installation of trail signage. Your participation in the National Tree Week is noted. The River Liffey Walk is a valuable amenity and the sections that were inspected for adjudication looked well however we note ongoing development plans for this area. The burial grounds are being neatly maintained however the car parking area outside needs to be surfaced and lined with car parking spaces.

Litter Control:
Litter control was very good in Ballymore Eustace on adjudication day with only the occasional scrap in evidence. A number of litter bins were in need of cleaning and more regular maintenance is required in this respect. Your coordinated efforts with Kildare County Council and with the angling club are noted and play no small part in the strong litter control in the village. Your organised litter patrols during National Spring Clean Week in 2010 is further evidence of a strong commitment to the environment and to your home place and those school children involved together with the Girl Guides are to be thanked and commended for their role together with volunteers organised by the GAA club.

Waste Minimisation:
No doubt all litter and rubbish collected is segregated for recycling. The new (2009) composting unit is noted and no doubt plays an important role in making people aware of the need for waste minimisation and the council’s Hazardous Household Waste collection in Blessington may be repeated in Ballymore? Your request to householders for the donation of half filled tins of exterior paint, etc for Tidy Towns work is negotiations significant under the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle concept. Your heightening of awareness regarding the integrated waste facility at Kilcullen is noted. To compete more effectively under this heading it would be a good idea to conduct a community waste audit to identify the amount and type of waste generated in Ballymore Eustace with a view to devising strategies to reduce this at source.

Tidiness:
Wirescape in Ballymore Eustace is not too visually obtrusive along the Main Street but is quite unsightly both at the church and on entering the village from the N81. A few untidy side areas and field entrances were observed, one being the small area beside The Village Store and another being a field entrance at the entrance to the village from the Naas approach road. There was good treatment to a derelict premises located up from the Paddy Murphy’s premises, no doubt this was part of your householders unwanted paint initiative, a great idea!

Residential Areas:
Your single storey dwellings are an attractive feature of Ballymore Eustace and it is good to note your awareness of their architectural importance and your negotiations with Kildare Council to have these designated for protection; on the day of adjudication some were in need of upgrading. A magnificent mature tree marking the entrance to the Hillcrest estate is quite breathtaking and is complemented nicely by the excellent maintenance of green areas in this development. The terrace of dwellings located near the entrance to Hillcrest was admired also. Well done on tree planting to soften the view of the rear of Liffey Heights, the overall standard in this development is good however a few boundary walls were in need of refurbishment.

Roads, Streets and Back Areas:
We appreciate the difficulties posed by development around the water treatment facility; at the time of adjudication approach roads to Ballymore Eustace were in good condition and entrances were attractive, however the worst stretch of road was that into the village from the N81 in terms of its road surface. Footpaths were generally in good condition. Street furniture looked well also and street nameplates are an attractive feature, lighting and seating were also admired; a few bollards were in need of realignment (straightening).
The committee’s initiative regarding work across from the KTK landfill site are noted and applauded.

General Impression:
The general impression of Ballymore Eustace is one of a visually appealing village with important wildlife heritage. The village will be enhanced even further upon the completion of the upgrading of the entrance road from the N81. Well done on another fine presentation, the adjudicator has enjoyed noting your progress over the last number of the years.

Tidy Towns Competition 2011
Adjudication Report

Centre:                              Ballymore Eustace             Ref: 357
County:                             Kildare                              Mark: 282
Category:                          B                                     Date(s): 14/06/2011
 
   
                                         Maximum Mark  Mark Awarded 2011 Mark Awarded 2010
Overall Development Approach       50                38                         37
The Built Environment                      50                36                         36
Landscaping                                    50                39                         39
Wildlife and Natural Amenities         50                36                         35
Litter Control                                   50               34                          34
Waste Minimisation                          20               10                          10
Tidiness                                           30                17                         17
Residential Areas                             40                32                          31
Roads, Streets and Back Areas        50               32                           32
General Impression                          10                 8                              8
TOTAL MARK                            400             282                          279

Overall Development Approach:
Your adjudicator would like to welcome Ballymore Eustace to the 2011 Tidy Towns Competition and your participation is important to the competition. Thank you for the most detailed application form and the many supporting documents. However your adjudicator is concerned at the volume of documentation provided in terms of the voluntary effort that went into its preparation. The entry form and a 37 page supporting text document were provided together with over 20 Appendices. It is suggested that in future years that a basic summary of other relevant documents can be provided unless the integrity of the total document is of crucial importance. Some of the documents were provided on a CD and your adjudicator thanks you for that. However not all adjudicators may have computer access on site at the time of adjudication and the printed document or summary is more helpful. Your adjudicator examined all documents provided on the CD. It was noted that some documents were not strictly relevant to the 2011 adjudication as some of them dated back nearly four years. These documents if submitted with your entry in the strict year of relevance would have been considered by your adjudicator in that year. There is no relationship between the quantity of entry documentation and the eventual marks awarded. Your entry demonstrates clearly your energetic focus on the Competition and your understanding of the key issues. The map provided was most helpful on adjudication day. Your Committee of just six people seems very small for the tasks that you are planning for the future. However that small group has achieved so much in recent years. The Tidy Towns Plan included is an excellent and well focused document. The six key problem areas summarised in your entry form are all understood and appreciated by your adjudicator.

The Built Environment:
Thank you for the Heritage Trail Guide which was used on the day of the visit to Ballymore Eustace. Your correspondence with the ESB in respect of cabling was read with great interest and you made an excellent case. Well done on getting the FAS / Tidy Towns office up and running – a great step forward. Work at the Garda Barracks was examined and is commended. Your approach to derelict property was seen and admired; this is indeed a great way of turning an eyesore into something more acceptable. The Water Treatment Plant was visited and fine approach road hedging was admired. In overall terms the built environment in Ballymore Eustace was quite well presented and quite a lot of repainting was evident. The use of the Irish language on signage is required under present legislation and this should be encouraged where appropriate. On signage the Irish language must have the primary role.

Landscaping:
The Millennium Garden was greatly enjoyed and this is a good mix of both hard and soft landscaping that works well in visual terms. At Scoil Mhuire the new flower and shrub bed looked well. The River Liffey Walk was walked and enjoyed and the new wildflower planting is noted here. At the bridge the Old Boat feature provided an attractive introduction to Ballymore Eustace from that side. The planting of native wildlife supporting trees at Ardenode Road is commended. Colourful containers and hanging baskets were seen in the Main Street and new tree planting was seen on the Kilcullen approach road. The Community Centre landscaped stood out on entering Assumpta Terrace. Landscaping also caught the eye at the Naas / Kilcullen junction though the timber fencing here needs to be repaired. Your liaison with Kildare County Council on landscaping, tidiness and litter issues is commended. The landscaping at the entrance to Hillcrest is well managed and appropriate to that location. Your adjudicator reminds all Tidy Towns Committees that the cutting of roadside banks and ditches in the period 1st March to 30th August is not permitted under Section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976, incorporating section 46 of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000.
 

Wildlife and Natural Amenities:
The River Walk is a most enjoyable area but the collapsing wire fencing on the left should be replaced with more sympathetic materials such as timber fencing. Bat and Bird boxes were seen along this route and your work with the Angling Club is commended. Has any consideration been given to the careful opening up of further views to the river from this walk? Professional wildlife advice is essential on this issue. There was a lack of wildlife interpretation along the route walked and this might be addressed in the future. The Workshop on Japanese Knotweed control was a worthwhile initiative. Good luck with your submission for the Biodiversity Award.

Litter Control:
The Bring Centre at the Ball Alley was visited and it was clean and tidy. The painting of the roadside wall here might be considered. The cleanup sessions are valuable and can help in recruiting new committee members. Some littering was noted in the town centre near the central feature and on the Kilcullen approach on the left. Otherwise litter control was quite acceptable.

Tidiness:
On Chapel Street paint the two pillars and the concrete wall leading to the bridge while on Main Street the timber screening needed to be repaired and repainted. At the central area the pole supporting the ten signs needed to be painted. Can these signs be rationalised; the same issue arose elsewhere in Ballymore Eustace. Have you considered a programme of painting all field gates? Weed growth at the base of poles was noted in several areas.

Waste Minimisation:
Composting near St Mary’s Cemetery is acknowledged and this is a useful contribution to this adjudication category as is the Recycling Information Sheet. What are you doing in respect of waste reduction / elimination in Ballymore Eustace as this goes to the core of this category? A waste audit is always a good starting point and established a baseline for future progress.

Residential Areas:
At the start of the River Walk at the bridge the grounds of an unoccupied house needed attention. Colourful landscaping caught the eye at St Brigid’s Park.  At Liffey Court grass needed to be cut and kerb weed was an issue. The white fencing opposite the stop sign at the entrance needed to be repainted. Excellent grass areas at Assumpta Terrace were admired while at Hillcrest most of the grass areas were excellently maintained. Along Barrack Street individual houses were attractively presented and welll painted.

Roads, Streets and Back Areas:
Some of the road surfaces in Ballymore Eustaceare really very poor and the residents deserve urgent road resurfacing where this