An explanation of the categories and what the judges are looking for is included below. This information coupled with the recent history of our performance in the competition will help us focus on what needs most improvement in the village.
Community – Your Planning and Involvement (60 Marks)
Marks are awarded for the overall quality of the Entry Form, town/village map and appropriateness of backup material submitted with your entry. Other key issues are the participation of the local community, businesses, schools and youth in general; working partnerships with local civic agencies; works carried out and appropriate projects completed; existence of an achievable updated TidyTowns Plan. Consideration will be given to social inclusion, whole of community approach, the role of volunteers and new residents in activities.
Streetscape & Public Places (50 Marks)
Buildings: Conservation and presentation of heritage buildings and quality of shop-fronts will be considered, taking account of the design, sustainability, accessibility, usability and suitability of new structures or civic amenity buildings for all people, regardless of age, size, ability or disability. Please highlight the efforts made to address derelict sites and unoccupied buildings even if unsuccessful.
Public Spaces: Consideration will be given to; squares, parks, streetscape, paving, landscaping and street furniture mindful of sustainability and access for all. Condition of street lighting, building facade lighting, appropriately designed signage and way-fi nding relating to streets and place nameplates. Attention will be given to the presentation of parking locations, historical trails, walkways and access points to local amenities or facilities and the general use of the Irish language.
Green Spaces and Landscaping (60 Marks)
Communities should demonstrate the following: The planning, design and management of green spaces. The selection and appropriate siting of trees and their ongoing maintenance, including formative pruning, watering and attention to the stakes and ties. Presentation of landscaping of all entrances to your town/village/locality in consultation with your local authority, where appropriate.
The use of suitable plants for hedges and shrubs for year round effect is important as is the siting of seasonal bedding schemes where you wish to highlight important areas. The use of plant containers can provide impact where it is not possible to plant directly into the ground. To reduce maintenance tasks limit the use of containers. To demonstrate the year round impact of the landscape works in your community, you are encouraged to provide dated photographs of, for example, daffodil schemes which are not evident in summertime.
Nature and Biodiversity in your locality (50 Marks)
Show your understanding and awareness of nature and biodiversity in your locality. This may include protected areas and/or areas important for conservation e.g. waterways, field boundaries, coastal features etc. Show an appreciation of how your local species and habitats should be best managed and protected.
Evidence of co-operation with expert groups and relevant authorities, especially in carrying out work in sensitive areas is desirable.
Sustainability – Doing more with less (50 Marks)
Describe how your activities help to make your centre more sustainable and reduce your environmental impact. For example, consider how you use your resources (e.g. methods or materials you use), in your project work under one or more of the following key themes: sustainability, water, transport, waste, energy and climate action. Describe awareness raising activities carried out across your community and detail any involvement with other Community Groups in this category
Tidiness and Litter Control (90 Marks)
Tidiness: General lack of clutter, blocked footpaths, redundant poles, unsightly overhead electric cables, absence of graffiti and fly-posting, and evidence of control of weed growth at kerbs. Absence of unsightly and or inappropriate advertising, such as that on gables of buildings and mass produced advertising banners in shop fronts.
Please note that although general tidiness is evaluated and marked in this category, tidiness is also considered under other categories including the Streetscape & Public Places, Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes.
Litter: The adjudicator will assess the absence of litter and dumping, evidence of litter control strategy, including regular litter patrols, segregation of collected litter during clean-ups and promotion of anti-litter awareness throughout the community.
Residential Streets & Housing Areas (50 Marks)
Residential streets that include Town Houses are integral parts of towns and villages and should be treated in a similar fashion to public and private housing developments. Consideration is given to proper presentation and maintenance of all properties with due cognisance given to maintenance of frontages, boundary and gable end walls. Gardens, where applicable, should be presented to a good standard. In housing developments green areas should be cut regularly. Children’s play areas to be considered with equipment maintained to best standards. Where possible individual estates should have suitable name signs – stones, plaques, sign posts, etc. preferably bilingual. Unfinished estates will not reflect badly on the efforts of any community but examples of how the community is addressing this issue should be highlighted
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Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes (50 Marks)
Appropriate presentation of approach roads, including the roadside verges and their boundary treatment. The appearance of town and village streets, connecting roads, laneways, bridges and cycle lanes. Provision for inclusive access and pedestrian connections.