Ballyboughal, Fingal North Co Dublin. Est Feb '08

Ballyboughal Tidy Towns Report 2014


ballyboughal tidy towns 2014 report

Community Involvement & Planning / Rannpháirtíocht an Phobail & Pleanáil

We are delighted to welcome Ballyboughal to the 2014 Tidy Towns competition. It is disappointing to see that your
participation levels have declined somewhat for this years competition (with 5 members – down from 6 – 8 in 2013)
and while this was not evident from your fine performance, we would encourage you to go on a recruitment drive.

Have you considered approaching other social groups and clubs in the village to ascertain if they would like to get
involved? Is there an active retirement group or heritage / historical society that could be requested to join in your
efforts? Perhaps some of the local sports clubs could be persuaded to lend a hand? A number of tidy towns groups
have boosted their participation rates by encouraging involvement on a project by project basis to facilitate residents
with limited time. Why not delegate some of your landscaping projects to some keen gardeners in the village? Youth
clubs and schools are also a great source of volunteers. Well done on maintaining good links with Fingal County
Council and the Fingal Leader Company as both provide good support to tidy towns committees. Your
communication strategy seems comprehensive and we are pleased to see that a website is being developed as this
will help you to minimize waste when communicating with your membership and the wider community. It is great to
read that the scouts and cubs are involved in your efforts but we’d like some further detail on how they get involved?
Do they take part in litter picks or other projects? Thank you also for your well prepared entry form as it was quite
helpful during adjudication. However, it could be improved by making clear under each category what projects have
been completed and what projects are proposed. The map was also useful but be sure to include the names of
residential areas (where not indicated) and road destinations (e.g. the Rush Road, the Garristown Road, etc) to
further improve it. Consider also producing a 3 – 5 year plan as this will help you to identify and prioritise projects
and maybe earn extra marks under this category.

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

Ballyboughal is a small and pleasant village with a traditional ambiance and this provides a lovely contrast with the
much larger nearby settlements of Swords and Balbriggan. A number of buildings caught the eye of the adjudicator
and they included the Village Inn, which is an attractive period structure and while it appears to be vacant, it is in
reasonable condition and attempts have clearly been made to maintain its good appearance. However, the car park
and the landscaping bed would benefit from some attention. The modern housing development in the centre of the
village also looked well and we were impressed with the new footpath and reinstated grass verge which appeared
neat and tidy. The pump is an attractive central feature and colourful planting at its base helps to enhance its
appearance. The national school building achieves a high standard of presentation with its attractive Irish signage
and its colourful window boxes and hanging baskets also looked well. The commercial units of the Forge and the
Takeaway seem to be relatively new buildings with quite modern designs and this introduces some interesting
diversity into the streetscape of the village. We note that the vacancies in commercial properties are providing a
challenge but it is positive to see that the appearance of the affected buildings is not having a negative impact on
the appearance of the village and we hope that productive uses for these buildings can be found soon. The thatched
cottage adjacent to the forge looked well and it provides a very distinctive and attractive element. The Church
opposite the School is also an impressive building and we admired the natural stone walls which appeared to be in
very good condition. The committee is commended on the projects undertaken for 2014 which included targeting the
derelict site and field close to the Mace Shop (on the R108) and encouraging Keelings to clean up their factory

Landscaping and Open Spaces / Tírdhreachú agus Spásanna Oscailte

We were impressed with a number of the landscaping displays which could be seen in Ballyboughal on adjudication
day with the park beside the bridge looking particularly well with its shrubs and its attractive half barrel planters
providing lovely summer colour to the centre of the village. This riverside park also provides for a lovely amenity
space with nice seating areas spotted. Simple landscaping schemes were also used to good effect on the name
signs on the approach roads into the village and this helped to provide a positive first impression for the visitor –
particularly on the approach road from Rush. Nice landscaping displays in some of the residential areas were
appreciated with the half barrel planters and simple planting schemes at the entrance to Ballyboughal Square
standing out. The committee is commended on the projects that you have undertaken for this category in 2014
which included the works to the park and for its proposed projects for 2015.

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

Your entry form indicates that your 2014 projects include maintaining and developing the river bank and we note
that the committee is considering making the derelict site north of the shop into a wildflower garden. The committee
is commended on its work to the riverside park and there seems little doubt that this is both an attractive amenity for
residents and an important riparian habitat. However, we note that the adjudicator in 2013 suggested that a wildlife
survey be undertaken and we wondered if there was any progress made on this? A survey would tell you what plant
and animal species can be found here and it would enable you to monitor biodiversity and see if your projects are
conserving and enhancing biodiversity levels. The survey could also be used to develop interpretive signage for
your river walk and park. It is recommended that the possibility of a wildlife survey is explored with the
Environmental Awareness Officer of Fingal County Council or perhaps the scouts would be interested in getting
involved? Don’t forget that the species used in your landscaping schemes can make an important contribution to
biodiversity by providing an important source of food and shelter for wildlife.

Sustainable Waste and Resource Management / Bainistiú Acmhainní agus Dramhaíola Inbhuanaithe

The committee is advised that this category has increased significantly in importance with a total of 50 marks
allocated to it in 2014 – up from 20 marks in 2013. Therefore, it is an excellent opportunity to improve your marks in
the competition. Your entry form indicates that you have built compost heaps and that you use the resulting compost
in your planting schemes – this is to be commended and encouraged. Well done also on using a mulching
lawnmower. However, consider going one step further by growing your plants (or seek local donations from keen
gardeners), harvesting your own grass and flower seed and capturing rainwater (particularly important given the
impending water charges). We would also like to hear about what the committee is doing to raise awareness of the
need for responsible waste management and resource use at a local level. Have any waste minimization or home
composting demonstrations been organised? This could be undertaken with the assistance of Fingal County
Council. Consider also monitoring the amount of waste that is collected from your bring centre on a weekly / monthly
basis – this information could be obtained from the waste operator. Marked increases could indicate that local
awareness campaigns are working.

Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair

The standard of litter control observed during adjudication in Ballyboughal was good with the majority of areas
looking very well and litter free. While there were some exceptions as a small amount of litter was noted outside the
GAA grounds and at the riverside park, it was clear that regular litter patrols are taking place. A small number of
areas will need additional monitoring as some dumping (of paint cans and other items) was spotted in a field
immediately adjacent to the Mace / Campus Store. We are pleased to report that the bring bank was in excellent
condition with no litter evident. The standard of weed control was also considered to be high as the majority of
roadsides and verges were weed free and in good condition. Improvements are still possible. The verge opposite
the Campus store was a little overgrown and in need of maintenance while a headless black and white sign pole
looked untidy. A small number of signs on approach roads were in need of a wash while the Garristown directional
sign would also benefit from regular cleaning.

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

The committee is commended on their work under this category by keeping common areas clean and encouraging
residents to keep their own areas tidy. We are pleased to report that the standard observed was generally good and
we were also pleased to read that there are moves to ensure that all residential areas are provided with name signs
as it proved difficult to identify some of the housing areas during adjudication – be sure to include the names of all
housing areas on the map for 2015. We were quite impressed with the modern housing in the centre of the village
which looked well during adjudication while the access road to Ballyboughal Square was quite impressive – it could
be further improved by the removal of weeds from the turning circle and regular maintenance of the planters at the
base of the lamp posts and trees.

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

The approach roads into Ballyboughal were in reasonably good condition. The approach coming past the GAA
ground was generally good, although the speed limit signage needed to be cleaned. The hedges also appeared to
have been recently cut and we would encourage the committee to ensure that this damaging activity does not take
place outside the appropriate season (hedgerows may not be cut during the period from 1st March to 31st August
each year in order to protect nesting birds ). The Rush approach road also looked well with neat and tidy verges and
visible signage, while the approach road from the south achieved a similar standard. The Garristown approach road
was reasonable, but the verge maintenance on this approach appeared mixed with the grass in some sections in
need of a trim.

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