Killenard has been chosen as the winner of the Laois Federation of Tidy Towns Category C Competition for 2013!!!
The following are the ratings and comments of the Laois Federation of Tidy Towns Inspectors under a variety of headings:
Litter Control (covers Bins, Waste Minimisation & Recycling, General, Gum/Dog Fouling, Effort and Presentation) – from the options ‘Litter Free’, ‘Moderately Littered’ or ‘Littered’, Killenard was rated ‘Moderately Littered’ with the following comments:
Judges were very impressed with the cleanliness of the main thoroughfare with footpaths, kerblines and roads maintained to the highest standard. Two large carparking areas were visited and both were well presented. The first site was that of the well-lined car-park outside the business units/The Thatch pub which was exceptionally clean. Likewise the car-parking area beside the community centre and home to the bring banks was very good with exception of few fragments of litter only on right-hand side. St. Johns Catholic Church was clean however, on closer inspection, small amounts of litter were observed where some grass trimming had taken place to the rear of the building and one tissue at corner in front of building. Whilst there was a few different types of dog fouling notices observed indicating that this form of litter is an issue, there was no dog spoils present in any of the public areas visited. Well done, your initiative in raising awareness of this litter nuisance appears to have worked well for you!!
Natural Environment (covers Wildlife & Nature Amenities i.e. Bird Boxes, Wildflowers etc) – from the options ‘Excellent’, ‘Good’ or ‘Would benefit from improvement’, Killenard was rated ‘Excellent’ with the following comments:
It is clear to see that there are plenty of green-fingered enthusiastic gardeners amongst the community with neatly mown grass verges, hedgerows and well-controlled ivy-clad walls which enhance the existing stone walls. This follows through to many private gardens as well as the inviting approach to the Heritage and formal layout of Mount Henry Court. The surrounds of St. Johns Church is immaculately maintained. Trees form the basis of the village which softens the streetscape with plans noted to include additional trees. Judges are pleased to see that the focus is on long-term planting arrangements in the form of perennials at shrubbery beds and carefully chosen plants to promote biodiversity. This focus will be further enhanced with the addition of newly sown lavatera shrubs and plans for appropriate planting in rear car-park. On the day of judging, many bees were observed on the brightly coloured poppies which demonstrates that your aim is working. Great news regarding engaging an ecologist to carry out a detailed survey for you which will be put to good use and promoted via the information boards. Good to see a water butt in use at side of community centre—hope this helps water the many annual beds of brightly coloured pink geraniums and contrasting bold blue lobelia.
Built Environment (covers Public/Business/Residential Buildings, Signage/ Roads/Streets, General Impression) – from the options ‘Excellent’, ‘Good’ or ‘ Would benefit from improvement, Killenard was rated ‘Excellent’ with the following comments:
As you correctly point out in your application, the village has a “distinct centre” demonstrating how existing buildings and the more modern built environment can work in harmony with each other . Approaching from Ballybrittas and although outside the remit of judging, the ongoing renovation of the Mount St. Anne’s retreat was noted and complimented on an inviting avenue with fine mature trees. Stone walls are a great feature of the village and well done to the designers in restoring Mount Henry Court to its former glory and, despite a more period look, this entrance and that of the Heritage Resort work well. All buildings in the village are well maintained from the older buildings of the fine St. John’s Catholic Church, the Old School building, Thatch Pub/restaurant, buildings already mentioned to the more modern buildings of the Community Centre, local school, shop units and new residential developments. Despite the size of the entrance approach, judges quite rightly agree that the Heritage Spa/Golf does not infringe too much on the main thoroughfare which retains its village feel.
The built environment is excellent in this village with no obvious issues of dereliction despite your concerns about one property close to the cemetery. Derelict sites is a difficult one to resolve along with the frustrating acts of vandalism/theft you have been subjected to.
Whilst we note your difficulty with cigarette butts at “The Thatch Pub” on your application, judges wish to complimented the owner/s in providing a range of cigarette disposal facilities for its customers—public houses are a high-risk area for cigarette butts but the area was butt free during our visit. Well done.
Since the inception of Killenard Tidy Towns and the ongoing partnership approach with key groups, the village has transformed greatly with wonderful attention to detail. Small matters make a huge difference and every effort is made to make this village a pleasure to visit!
Judges noted no form of fly-posting or abandoned ties/paper posters in the village—again our comments were taken on board from last year and a concerted effort made to ensure their eradication.
The street furniture (street lighting poles, bollards, signage) is very well maintained and judges note the new addition of attractive “welcome signs” each side of main thoroughfare.
Judges remarked on seating at strategic points at rear of community centre and in graveyard (some new). These seats offer peace and tranquillity and time to reflect on loved ones maximising on beautiful scenic countryside. To quibble a little, the seats may benefit from painting.
Well done on your Tidy Towns newsletter—it is very comprehensive and makes great reading. Your website and Facebook Page are also great ways of creating awareness.
We note Killenard National Schools green flag flying proudly—this is great programme ensuring that the youth of today are educated on all environmental issues.
Great to see you working with the scouts in relation to the Gum Litter Taskforce Competition and helping to work towards their Community Service Special Interest Badge.
The community centre window is an ideal opportunity at this central location to showcase your hard work as a Committee. Whilst information on the school, GAA, historical and background information on Killenard was noted, don’t be afraid to highlight your work with pictures (i.e. gum initiative, planting, before and after pic- tures of areas) and may encourage volunteers to get interested/involved.
The heritage-style information boards will be a great asset.
We note your ability to achieve much success/help with the assistance of grants. It is a great way of financial assistance which may otherwise not be available to you.