Ardclough Tidy Towns report 2019

Ardclough score was a record 323 points (maximum points 450) in the Tidy Towns competition to finish joint winners in their category and joint seventh in Kildare, and maintained a record of having increased their score every year since first entering in 1998.

FOUR extra marks for Ardclough, score of 68.7pc or 323/470 up from 319/470. Congratulations to all involved.

  • Community planning and involvement 51/60 up from 50
  • Streetscape & public places 41/60 up from 40
  • Green spaces and landscaping 41/60 unchanged
  • Nature and biodiversity in the locality 41/50 unchanged
  • Sustainability, doing more with less 19/50 up from 18
  • Tidiness and litter control 55/90 up from 54
  • Residential streets & housing areas 36/50 unchanged
  • Approach roads, streets & lanes 39/50 unchanged

Community planning and involvement 51/60 up from 50

Cuireann an moltóir seo fáilte roimh Ard Cloch/Ardclough chuig Comórtas na mBailte Slachtmhara SuperValu 2019. Ardclough is very welcome to the Tidy Towns Competition of 2019.

We note what you say about your committee member of long-standing taking a step back and well done to those two members who stood in and completed the application this year. Thank you for the map. It is very clear, with a good legend that makes the work of this adjudicator, on a first visit, all the more pleasant. Your application form, with detailed photographs of your most recent projects, was very helpful. The Ardclough Community Committee has done Trojan work over the years since it was set up in 2007. It has liaised with many local and national organisations such as the GAA, Muintir na Tíre, local residents associations and Kildare County Council, to name just a few.

We commend your initiative involving people from all strands of life who participate in further education.

Well done on obtaining funding from the Leader partnership for developing the Arthur Guinness Heritage Centre at the village centre. You are commended for liaising with Waterways Ireland to highlight the need to repair Henry Bridge. Your methods of communicating with the community is very high-tech, using all available media including Facebook, Twitter and What’s App, and also local media that is well-established.

You have meetings on the last Thursday of every month which are also advertised in local shops and the church newsletter. This is good for those less used to computers. It’s good to see you had contact with the local school and have run programmes with them. Mól an óige agus tiocfaidh sí.

It is wonderful that you can see real improvement in your village since participation in the Tidy Towns commenced in 2007. Well done to all involved.

You have presented a very well thought out and clear three-year plan 2018-2021.

Streetscape & public places 41/60 up from 40

We admired the swan mural painted on the electrical transformer box. The rotation of story-board history is another innovative idea.

The repainting of the car park spaces across from the church has certainly brightened up that area. The retention of the font from the 1811 church is a lovely heritage item. Well done to that band of volunteers that removes the unsightly graffiti from under the bridge. It is a pity that these ‘artists’ fail to appreciate the beauty of the stonework and why it should be left alone without any further adornment.

Scoil Áine Naofa (St Anne’s) national school looked well on adjudication day. The new housing at Williams Grove will supply new pupils for the years to come. The church grounds were in good order. The Daniel Graham memorial park has a very impressive clubhouse. The car park was pristine on adjudication day. We love your project of dandelions for bees and commend the clipping back of the conifers.

Green spaces and landscaping 41/60 unchanged

Congratulations to all those involved in the hard work of trimming the conifers at village centre by hand. We encourage the promotion of the dandelion and commend your work on leaving areas for wildflowers to propagate themselves.

The new benches at Lishandra Manor were nicely done. Na hEalaí mural is very attractive. The tree project at Ardclough village centre caught our eye. The national heritage panel also looked well. We saw how the stone planters on Henry Bridge were flourishing. Your choice of natural stone fits in.

The overall feel of the village was of a place that was well loved and minded

Nature and biodiversity in the locality 41/50 unchanged

We applaud your wildlife summary and the species list that is undertaken annually. It is great that you have liaised with Birdwatch Kildare and with Wild Kildare. It must have been extremely heartening to count 19 swifts in one go. It is also wonderful that you saw a Merlin which is such a lovely and unusual small raptor. We were also delighted to see you added Redpoll and Linnet to your records but saddened to see the Water Rail decline. It was also very interesting what you have to say about the invasive Greater White-toothed shrew. We look forward to reading more about your surveys and the future. Keep up this excellent and important work.

Your project with the St. Anne’s national school is a wonderful initiative. Your photos show the attentiveness and application of the children. Congratulations to Michelle and Mairéad in carrying out this project and also to the children themselves. Who knows, perhaps you will have nurtured a new Monty Don. Well done to Paddy Madden and his involvement in spreading knowledge of trees to young and old. We are only realising now how important they are for our own health and well-being, and that of the planet also.

The Grand Canal rates highly amongst the local habitats, combining woodlands and wet land in some places. You have worked well to inform people of these features. This stretch of the waterway is dead-straight and the tow path invites walkers there. We passed quite a few of them. We noted how the growth of water weed in the canal appeared especially vigorous and that will, of course, be an item for Waterways Ireland to consider. We spotted the Blue-banded damselfly on the way from Henry Bridge to the 13th Lock. We also saw a heron, some mallard and your two swans. It was an idyllic place to take a stroll.

Sustainability, doing more with less 19/50 up from 18

Your eco-friendly theatre project was highly unusual and very practical. I, for one, will be using the recipe for fake blood at my next Halloween outing!

We love the “Going wild” feature in your garden event. It was great as a family outing and hopefully the children will keep up their enthusiasm for nature as they grow. The recycling of Christmas trees was truly a win-win situation. The people got rid of their trees, the village got mulch and the schools funding. Surely a great project.

Sewing for children is a great undertaking. The photos of their handiwork brought a smile to my face. The children are so lucky to have such a talented creative teacher as Shauna Brazil.

Tidiness and litter control 55/90 up from 54

Your photos of the Youth Clean-up Day looked very successful and they all appeared to be enjoying themselves. It is something that stirs young people to take an interest in their surroundings and in feeling ownership and responsibility for it. Hopefully, some of them will become Tidy Towns committee members in the future. The Celbridge Paddlers are to be congratulated. What a novel way to get at rubbish in out-of-the-way places along the canal and they look like they were enjoying it as well.

Your success at removing the van from the canal shows that perseverance, cooperation and generosity can finally payoff. Ar fheabhas.

Your attractive anti-litter signs are commended.

Residential streets & housing areas 36/50 unchanged

The redecoration of the ruined gate lodge is a lovely project. Well done on winning the photography competition for Virgin Media One.

It is great to see you were taking a proactive view of the development in the village and engaging with the developer of the new housing estate. It is an exciting time, adding new life and families to your village. Hopefully this will bring new ideas for your projects in the near future.

The Wheatfield estate planting was doing well and it stood out on a lovely summer day.

Approach roads, streets & lanes 39/50 unchanged

The Henry Bridge planters are attractive and low-key. The natural stone blends in well with the cut stone.

Ardclough Village bollards are nicely repainted and cleaned. The removal of grass will make it harder to drop or to hide litter. The way out from Henry Bridge is a wonderful dappled road. Your approach roads were neat and tidy and litter-free. Well done to all involved.

Thaitnigh an Ard Chloch go mór linn agus guímíd gach rath ar an obair atá ar siúl agaibh. I dteanta a chéile sea is fearr sinn.

Ardclough’s record in previous Tidy Towns competitions 1998: 50pc (150/300). 1999: 51.3pc (154/300), 2000: 54.7pc (164/300), 2001: 58.3pc (175/300), 2002: 60.3pc (181/300), 2003: 61pc (183/300), 2004: 61.7pc (185/300), 2005: 62.7pc (188/300), 2007: 54.8pc (219/400), 2008: 59.5pc (238/400), 2009: 62pc (248/400), 2010: 63pc (252/400), 2011: 64.8pc (259/400), 2012: 67.8pc  (271/400), 2013: 70.5pc (282/400), 2014: 64.7pc (291/450). 2015: 66.7pc (300/450), 2016: 67.8pc (305/450) 2017: 68.9pc (310/450) 2018: 70.1pc (319/450), 2019: 68.7pc (323/470)


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