Wicklow County Council’s annual Tidy Towns and Environmental Awards were judged during the summer months of 2020. While the National Tidy Town did not proceed due to Covid restrictions communities were active when safe to do so and many significant projects and actions were completed in 2020. These awards recognise that work.
Cllr. Pat Kennedy, Cathaoirleach, Wicklow County Council
“On behalf of the members of Wicklow County Council I am delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Tidy Town, Estates and Environmental Awards.
2020 was challenging for communities. Restrictions and social distancing limited what we could achieve at times and also called on us to provide support for family, friends and neighbours as well as the vulnerable in our society. We responded well as a county.
The National Tidy Towns Awards could not take place but the work continued in towns and communities across the county with groups delivering new projects. Wicklow County wishes to pay tribute to the people who helped to care for our environment and build a more sustainable future for all. These awards recognize your continued endeavours during 2020.”
Frank Curran, Chief Executive, Wicklow County Council
“These awards are an opportunity to celebrate the great work that groups throughout the county delivered in 2020. While Covid 19 disrupted all our lives it did bring communities together and it did strengthen the relationship between communities and Local Government.
2020 was also a year in which Wicklow County Council established a new Climate Action Team. It was a year when we worked with communities on Climate Action through Sustainable Energy Communities with the first group Glenmalure completing their Energy Master Plan in November.
Climate and Biodiversity Action linked to citizen engagement are the common threads that run through the awards presented here. Congratulations to all award winners and Thank You to all who worked to contribute in your community over the last year.”
Tidy Towns groups and residents associations maintained high standards in our estates and town centres throughout 2020. Action for biodiversity and sustainability was notable in all parts of the county. Many new volunteers assisted for the first time over the last year.
Tidy Estates Competition
Local Authority Estates Private Estates
John Paul Ave, Arklow 1st Brennans Parade, Bray 1st Mallens Wood, Grangecon 2nd Fernhill, Arklow 2nd Gleann Chill, Glenealy 3rd Ashton, Blessington 3rd
WHAD RA, Bray Commended, Burgage Manor, Blessington Commended Kenmare Heights, Greystones Commended, Rathdown Park, Greystones Commended, Lathaleer, Baltinglass Commended, Oak Park, Blessington Commended, Slaney View, Stratford on Slaney Dragoon Park, Hollywood Commended, Commended Sugar Loaf Crescent, Bray Commended
Tidy Towns Main Street Competition
Small Towns Medium Towns Large Towns Hollywood 1st Dunlavin 1st Greystones 1st Ballycoog 2nd Avoca 2nd Arklow 2nd Grangecon 3rd Delgany 3rd Blessington 3rd Glenealy Commended, Laragh Commended, Baltinglass Commended, Newcastle Commended, Enniskerry Commended
Lacken Commended Roundwood Commended
Stratford on Slaney Commended
NewtownmountKennedy . Commended
Biodiversity Award Greystones Tidy Towns
The Shoreline Centre was planted and managed for biodiversity. Planned with zoning of habitats and maintenance programmes. They are also incorporating biodiversity into all planting schemes around the town..
Biodiversity In Schools Award Sacred Heart, Aughrim
Tree planting undertaken with the support of a local business. Developed a wildflower garden for bees and created a vegetable garden from which the produce was used for soup and salad.
Built Heritage Award Knockananna Tidy Towns
Knockananna completed the restoration of the old blacksmiths house, restoring from dereliction a key historic structure in the centre of the village.
Business Award Poppies Café, nominated by Enniskerry Tidy Towns
Commended Healthy Matters, nominated by Bray Tidy Towns Poppies invested in solar panels, LED lighting, and rainwater harvesting. Discounts are given for reusable cups and they have a focus on sustainable packaging. Coffee is sourced from a carbon neutral source. Local suppliers are used. Healthy Matters offer a range of refill options when purchasing in store.
Coast Care Award Wicklow Aquanautics
They undertook citizen science monitoring of species re-establishing in Greystones Harbour, Also did invasive species monitoring, Divers did under water litter picks. They developed a biodiversity information leaflet on their findings.
Communal Gardening Award Greystones Kilcoole Community Garden Renovation of Shoreline Community Garden creating a thriving hub for GIY. Garden had been neglected. Remodelled with new focus on vegetable production.
Energy Award Laragh Tidy Towns
They are undertaking a Sustainable Energy Communities Energy Master Plan, auditing energy usage to identify the best energy saving options for the community. Public engagement with the community in surrounding areas.
Climate Change Award Arklow Tidy Towns
They are working with industry in the town to offset carbon emissions through tree planting, Partners include Servier, Echelon, Merck, Irish Water, Leon Recycling. They are developing a neighbour wood on 7 Ha with Sunbeam Services and Coillte, Planting in public spaces with residents and schools is also done. . They worked on a new Community Biodiversity Action Plan. Engaging all in Climate Action.
Local Food/Fairtrade Award Wicklow Wines nominated by Enniskerry Tidy Towns Commended Baltinglass Fairtrade
Wicklow Wines are a member of the steering group and champion for Wicklow Naturally as well as participating in Origin Green. They use Bord Bia approved suppliers. They focus on energy efficiency and waste prevention. Pulp is composted for use in food production.
Baltinglass Fairtrade maintained Fair Trade status. Earth Day was celebrated. They had a swap your basket challenge. They have an ongoing schools campaigns.
Landscaping Award Ballycoog Tidy Towns
Commended Blessington Tidy Towns
Ballycoog were awarded for their landscaping of the Graveyard, the carpark, and their work with the school on creating a garden, Pollinator friendly planting was used. Perennial planting ensures longevity. The bottle banks were well presented and landscaped.
Blessington Tidy Towns created a new disability and age friendly garden cared for by local residents..
Local Champions Stephen Brennan nominated by Scoil Realt na Mara Commended Sharon Plunkett nominated by Bray Tidy Towns
Commended Eoin Llewellyn nominated by Greystones Tidy Towns Stephen Brennan has led on many PURE Mile campaigns in the Brittas Bay area and worked to explore and document local heritage. Each year he involves local students getting them to learn about their heritage documenting and presenting it in school. Sharon has been instrumental in leading local residents on a clean up and revamp of their estate and went on to further afield in the community of Bray on several campaigns with Bray Tidy Towns.
Eoin has worked to document local biodiversity and strengthen awareness on it. He has led on projects including planting a community orchard.
Local Heritage Award Baltinglass Tidy Towns
Baltinglass worked on a new walk in Lords Woods including paths and wooden infrastructure for visitors.
Schools Award Scoil Realt na Mara, Brittas Bay Brittas Bay are recognised for their work in exploring their local heritage through PURE, their productive vegetable garden and their planting for biodiversity.
School Garden Award Ballycoog National School
Ballycoog have worked to establish a pollinator friendly garden to the front of the school and a fruit and vegetable garden to the back with support from parents and the community.
Sustainable Tourism Award Lacken Tidy Towns
Lacken have restored their old mass path creating a lovely walk which can be looped back round to the town and which will create a great addition for visitors to the Blessington Greenway when it comes through.
Trees Award Greystones Tidy Towns
A campaign called 20 trees for 20 was delivered with local sports clubs. A tree planted for each child who visited Santa resulted in 215 trees planted. Extensive planting of trees was undertaken at the shoreline centre.
Water Conservation Award Arklow Tidy Towns
Threatened with the loss of newly planted trees during the hot spell they used piping to create irrigation channels direct to the roots keeping trees alive while minimizing water usage.
Water Protection Award Delgany Tidy Towns
They undertook a citizen science based study to examine water quality in the Three Trouts River building up local knowledge and identifying options to improve water quality. Regular clean ups undertaken.
Waste Minimization Award Reservoir Cogs nominated by Blessington Tidy Towns Commended Bray Crafters nominated by Bray Tidy Towns
A thorough greening of this annual cycling event. No plastic bottles. Use of biodegradable materials. All waste segregated for recycling. A goodie bag swapped for litter at the end. Electric powered support vehicles.
Bray Crafters have incorporated reuse of fabrics into their craft activities.