TIDY TOWNS REPORT 2011
Category: A (Village with a population of under 200)
Overall Development Approach 50 34 36
The Built Environment 50 38 38
Landscaping 50 39 40
Wildlife and Natural Amenities 50 20 20
Litter Control 50 30 30
Waste Minimisation 20 10 12
Tidiness 30 19 19
Residential Areas 40 29 29
Roads Streets and Back Areas 50 37 37
General Impression 10 8 8
TOTAL MARKS 400 264 269
OVERALL DEVELOPMENT APPROACH:
Your adjudicator would like to welcome back Lorrha to the 2011 TidyTowns Competition. It was a real pleasure to come across such history packed into one tiny area. Friar Park will be a great local amenity when completed and the inclusion of a BBQ area is an excellent idea to encourage community events. Congratulations in the production of your 3 year plan – this clearly shows what you have achieved and what you aim to do next. Thank you also for the map included which was very handy and easy to follow. You work with many bodies such as the North Tipperary County Council and Leader. It is excellent that you have a representative on the Green School’s committee. Your approach to link in with different groups to show how TidyTowns may benefit and relate to them should also be commended. This is a much more sustainable approach to building a community. Linking all of these bodies and tieing in with local festivities eg your St Patrick’s Day Parade can really help develop a sense of identity. Your website was visited as it was adverted on the western approach road to the village. It is an excellent and up to date communication. Well done on your work throughout 2010/2011.
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT:
The school’s new mural and Ireland map were inspected – what fine quality artwork – the humpback whale was about to jump off the wall! Well done to all involved in allowing supporting and delivering this project. As you travelled through Lorrha the private and public buildings mostly looked very well. The great wrought iron 1912 gate into the graveyard was well maintained as was the entrance gate to the well. Your adjudicator was confused with the church bell on the ancient Abbey but then was delighted to behold a church within a church! St Ruadhan’s graveyard was well maintained and provided many different plants suitable for wildlife eg. Buddleia. The new pier and wall was inspected and will look great once completed. There were nice murals on main street opposite the shop. Friar’s Tavern looked well with its red and gold. The Community Centre look quite good though some of the paint was faded (perhaps from too strong a power hose as lines seemed visible?). One consideration for the future may be to enhance the space in the front of the Community Hall with some soft landscaping or even one or two flower beds or trees. As well as lifting the look of the hall it may help direct parking cars and help ensure the safety of pedestrians in this area.
A lot of hard work has already been carried out at Friar’s Park and an array of trees and plants have been planted already. This will help get the park quickly established and your adjudicator looks forward to the finishing of this area. Some of the newly planted trees seemed very thin as if they have been grown close together in a nursery. Looser stays will allow them to flex and strengthen and acclimatize to their new positions. Depending on your response from the Garda one suggestion would be to possibly replace the hedging with native trees eg. Hawthorn that tolerates our climate conditions more readily and as a native plant provides shelter to local wildlife.
WILDLIFE AND NATURAL AMENITIES:
Your adjudicator did not locate the wildlife areas on both sides of Carrigahorig Road or at the grotto. The area behind grotto would support many insects – the wood piles can help invertebrates by providing shelter and appropriate food. But to maintain this area you need to cut or strim the large bed of nettles and remove cuttings to avoid nutrient build up. There was mention of a wild flower garden in last year’s report – sorry but this was not located? There are many simply measure to enhance local wildlife and habitats as you have suggested. You could maybe erect some bird boxes or create a hedgehog house etc in the new park. There are some excellent templates for birdboxes (including correct dimensions for entrance holes as often these are too big) from www.BirdwatchIreland.ie. Or you could hold a short walk one evening through Lorrha with a local wildlife expert and this would help you gain marks in this area also. One simple idea would be to plant sunflowers and allow birds to feed from the seed heads after flowering.
The new litter bins were serviced. There was very little evidence of litter – well done as the school’s work on the green flag is certainly helping here. The bottle banks were inspected. In the longer run they could be screening with some fencing similar to that used to screen the school’s oil tank.
Your restored wrought iron gate looked very well – this is an excellent example where you can reduce waste through re-using old items. Congratulations also on segregating your waste after the street collections. The introduction of a compost area in the new park will also help gain points in this judging category. The installation of a water butt will help a lot. Your adjudicator commends you on your waste audit that is in progress. It was noted that the school had a compost bin too and you list the recycling battery box and kitchen caddy in use in the school also. Perhaps the community centre has also or could use this one also due to its proximity to the school? Overall you have many great examples of actions that gain marks for you within this judging category.
The various heritage signs through Lorrha were admired and it was great to read about the local history of the village. Your adjudicator liked the unusual use of painted hurley sticks rather than bunting as decorations showing pride in the county’s Gaelic achievements. These looked well and should not tatter like flags and bunting. The roads and areas of Lorrha appeared generally tidy and clutter free. Congratulations as few weeds were noticed despite the alternate wet and sunny weather prior to the visit that would encourage their growth! One of the concrete posts at the grotto was damaged.
Entrances to both estates Pairc na Cille and Friar Close welcomed you with freshly planted floral displays. The first had lovely trees including copper beech providing dappled shade on the sunny day of your adjudicators visit. Walls and gable ends looked well.
ROADS STREETS AND BACK AREAS:
All approach roads into the village had been freshly mown even the tiny back road and planters throughout the village had been planted not just with pansies but some other shrubs which was nice to see. The ‘Welcome To Lorrha’ signs all looked well as did the website advertising signs. Smoe of the farm gates within the village could be painted – maybe in a uniform colour? The street benches at the Catholic Church looked very fresh with the 2 silver lines interspersed between the black painted wooden struts.
All roads into Lorrha provide the visitor with a sense of place and Lorrha is indeed a lovely place. Full of many historic buildings and with a community obviously proud of its heritage it was a delight for your adjudicator to explore the village.