What the Tidy Towns judges said about Rhode

Rhode scored 284 marks in the 2017 Tidy Towns competition

Offaly Express Reporter

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Tidy Towns

Tidy Towns

Rhode scored 284 marks in this year's Tidy Towns competition.

Community Involvement & Planning / Rannpháirtíocht an Phobail & Pleanáil:

Rhode is welcomed to the SuperValu Tidy Towns competition for 2017. Thank you for your detailed application, map and photos which were helpful to the adjudicator. Copy of your plan for the village was also enclosed which finishes this year. You have a strong 12 member committee with additional 15 volunteers.

The men’s shed are helpful in making and recycling projects. You also have a junior Tidy Towns and the youth clubs involvement with litter patrols. It is positive that this is working well as awareness of community spirit will be absorbed in the young people as they get older and they will help to keep Tidy Towns and community development alive into the future.

You engage with all the relevant agencies and businesses and communicate to the wider community through social media and newsletters. It is also positive that newcomers to the village are welcome to come along as the Tidy Towns can be a great social outlet for people to meet.

Built Environment and Streetscape / An Timpeallacht Thógtha agus Sráid-dreacha:
The buildings along the streetscape were bright and colourful in particular O’Tooles pub with baskets and planters.  This was also the case with Doyles and Killeens with colourful hanging baskets. The improvements made to the vacant site with planters made from recycled tyres of various sizes carefully planted, brightened up this area. The School was visited which was well presented but some planters outside the school needed attention.

The community centre was also visited which is a fine amenity for the community. The area at the back of the centre could do with tidying and walls painted. The Garda Station was well presented with hanging baskets and window boxes. The Church too looked pristine with well-presented grounds.

Landscaping and Open Spaces / Tírdhreachú agus Spásanna Oscailte:
Some good areas of landscaping were noted at various locations. The green and yellow privet hedge matching your local colours with the well maintained shrubbery and Buxus lettering on the Edenderry road corner was admired. The bollards at front if painted would enhance this corner further.

Trees planted along the road need attention as some are dead and need to be removed. This road verge is narrow and maybe not suitable for tree planting. The hard landscaping on the entrance road of the large boulder and water feature was admired.

The alpine planting is good. Work is ongoing and the adjudicator looks forward to this corner on completion. The paling along this stretch of road would be enhanced with a whitethorn hedge. The large sun flowers in the garden across from the Church brought sunshine to the streetscape.

Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities / Fiadhúlra, Gnáthóga agus Taitneamhachtaí Nádúrtha:
The hedging, walls and trees around the village are natural habitats for wildlife. Groups are encouraged to hosts talks and walks that create awareness and appreciation of the wildlife that can be found in the community. Working with Bird Watch Ireland and the school would be helpful in identifying birds around the area. Suitable planting such as the wild flower sowing in the community garden is encouraged. Visit www.biodiversityireland.ie/pollinator-plan which is a good website to work with as it gives helpful information on the correct planting that is good for wildlife and also useful tips.

Sustainable Waste and Resource Management / Bainistiú Acmhainní agus Dramhaíola Inbhuanaithe:
This is a difficult category for a lot of groups. This category is about reducing the amount of waste produced by the community in the first place. It is also about better resource management around water, energy and transport.

Working with the preschool and the active retirement groups by inviting a member from the environment section of the Council to come along and give a talk on waste management is encouraged. Working with the Green School is also good. Harvesting of rainwater and using energy saving bulbs is a good way of saving. Walking, cycling or car-pooling is also another good way of saving. Recycling and reusing where possible is ongoing. Trying working on one or two projects for next year.

Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:
Rhode village is quite a large stretch of area to cover but you are working well with regular litter patrols with all the community involved helping to keep the village clean and tidy. One flag at the school however looked torn and untidy. Signs need cleaning or painting and headless poles should be removed or signs placed on them. Some weed growth at kerbs was also noted.

Residential Streets & Housing Areas / Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta:
The housing estates visited were well presented with good green areas and landscaping. Some palings could do with hedging in particular the wooden paling along the road at Priory estate. The houses along the approach roads and along the streetscape were well maintained with bright colourful gardens. There were some boundary walls in need of painting. The playground sponsored by Bord Na Mona is nestled among mature trees and is a delightful area for children to play. The stones with different quotes were also admired.

Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes / Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí:
The approach roads have good entrance signs in particular the “Failte go Rod” and neat verges. Groups are encouraged to leave a corridor for wildlife along approach roads while still maintaining a neat verge. Some native hedging could be plantedalong the paling on Daingean approach road. Road surfaces could be improved especially the road leading to the school where there is a lot of traffic. Gates on approach roads should be painted in a uniform colour where possible. The roundabout on the Mullingar road was admired with some fine planting.

Concluding Remarks:
Well done on the work that you have done for this year. The village was a pleasure to visit and adjudicate. Keep up
the good work.