Over the past number of months, Ballincollig Tidy Towns Volunteers have noticed a marked decrease in the amount of litter collected week on week.
Last Sunday morning 20 Volunteers joined 2 Transition Year students for the weekly litter pick. It was a lovely morning and they managed to cover a large area in that time.
During the week several of our Volunteers carried out litter picks around the streets.
The Transition Year students collected leaves from the Fr. Sexton Park green and on the footpath in front of the estate. They worked really hard for the hour and collected 9 one-ton bags of leaves.
We collected 3 one-ton bags of leaves from Pine Walk; 3 bags from Leesdale Court; 2 one-ton bags and 7 regular bags of leaves from the entrance to Muskerry Estate.
An enormous number of leaves have already been collected so much so that we have had to put extensions onto Bay 1 in order to accommodate the volume.
During the week the following leaves were collected from –
Prospect Lawn (2 one-ton bags);
Carrigdene (30 plastic bags);
Innismore (3 plastic bags)
Adrian returned to Leo Murphy Tce. and collected a further 4 one-ton bags of leaves.
On Thursday 10 one-ton bags of leaves were removed from both Fr. Sexton Park and Leo Murphy Tce.
Our workers also collected 3 one-ton bags of leaves from Glendower Court, 4 one-ton bags from Westcliffe, 9 plastic bags from Innishmore and 1 one-ton bag from opposite Maxol.
Pictures show some of the work done collecting leaves on Sunday morning
A VERY GOOD WEEK
Along with all the leaves that were collected throughout the week our workers were very busy through the entire week on other projects.
Monday morning work began at the Allotment. The Trailer was emptied of the leaves from Sunday’s work and John spent several hours transferring them to the Compost Bays.
Picture shows John in the compost bay
One bag of litter was collected from Rosewood.
Adrian sorted Sunday’s litter and segregated them into plastic and cans as well as general litter and glass.
John and Tony spent a morning planting flowers around the sculpture at Poulavone as part of the winter planting.
Wednesday morning was spent removing the Tower Planters from Main Street for the winter. The contents were taken to the Allotment and placed in the compost bays.
The Towers were then washed and cleaned and stored away ready for planting next year.
Pictures show flowers being planted at the sculpture
Pictures show tower planters being cleaned
TIDY TOWNS GRANT
At the recent awards ceremony, Minister Humphreys announced a €1.5m funding package to support over 1,000 Tidy Towns groups in preparing for the 2022 competition.
The Department will contact 1,022 eligible groups in the coming weeks. A ‘centre’ must have entered the competition in either 2018, 2019 or 2021 in order to qualify.
A grant of €1,000 will be available for Villages, €2,000 for small towns and €3,000 for large towns. Large Urban Centres will be entitled to a grant of €4,000.
A form will be issued electronically in the coming weeks and all eligible groups are asked to use this.
Any change in email addresses should be sent to TidyTowns@drcd.gov.ie
KEEP AN EYE OUT
Why not participate in this initiative, set up to motivate people in the battle against plastic pollution, specifically ocean plastic.
Thousands of us visit beaches throughout the summer months and many visit beaches during the winter. People may already be aware of signs asking them to take away 3 pieces of plastic each time they visit a beach.
Back in late 2018/early 2019, with the help of a donation from the Miltown Malbay TidyTowns group people in Clare had two permanent stone signs erected at Spanish Point and Whitestrand Miltown Malbay beaches. The signs asked that people take away 3 pieces of plastic every time they visit the beach.
These signs have made an enormous difference to the amount of plastic found on both beaches. Since 2019, similar signs/plaques have been erected on several other beaches around the country. There are now signs on beaches in Dublin, Wicklow, Cork and Waterford and most recently, 3 signs have been commissioned by Bundoran TidyTowns and Donegal Co Council.
3 for the Sea is a simple initiative, that allows everyone, regardless of their age, to act against plastic pollution.
Whenever you visit a beach, play your part for 3 for the sea.
TIPS TO HELP WILDLIFE OVER THE WINTER MONTHS
Garden looking a bit sluggish during the Winter? Why not liven it up by turning it into a beautiful wildlife haven.
Freezing temperatures make life difficult for animals like birds, squirrels and other garden wildlife and they often struggle to find enough fat-rich foods to see them through the winter months. Carrying out some simple tasks can make a difference for them.
1. PROVIDE SHELTER
A newly made compost heap makes a perfect home for frogs, toads and other animals. Bird boxes, hedgehog homes and other undisturbed areas in your garden make cosy shelters and habitats where wildlife can hibernate. Remember not to disturb them until hibernation time is over in April. Hibernation may change depending on how mild Winter is.
2. FEED THE WILDLIFE
Putting food out for wildlife in winter is important but it is also important not to do so constantly as they can become reliant on this source of food. Helping them a small amount can see them through the wintry weather.
Birds – seeds, suet balls, mealworms, berries or chopped up fruits (apples, pears, plums)
Hedgehogs – minced meat, tinned dog/cat food (not fish-based), chopped boiled egg
Squirrels – hazelnuts, walnuts, chestnuts, sunflower seeds, chopped carrot
Badgers – Fruit (apples, grapes, pears), peanuts, dried dog food, mealworms
Small mammals – mixed seeds
3. LEAVE OUT SOME WATER
Invest in a bird bath to keep birds hydrated and clean.
Place a shallow dish of fresh water on the ground to benefit all wildlife including birds.
Empty and clean out bird boxes, feeders and baths with hot water, a mild detergent, and a brush. This will help birds stay healthy during the Winter.
4. GATHER FALLEN LEAVES
Collect fallen leaves from the lawn or patio to create leaf-mould piles. Place these underneath hedges and shrubs. These can provide a safe home for hedgehogs and even insects.
5. MELT A HOLE IN A POND IF IT’S FROZEN
Carefully place some hot water on a pond until a hole has been melted. This will allow wildlife to drink, and also enter and exit the pond. DO NOT hit the ice, as this sends shockwaves through the water and harms the wildlife that live in it!
6. ALWAYS CHECK AREAS BEFORE CARRYING OUT JOBS
Make sure to check areas such as compost heaps, leaf piles, logs piles, etc. for hidden wildlife before handling them.
7. KEEP ANY NETTING ABOVE GROUND LEVEL
Any plant, football, tennis or other kind of netting in your garden, keep them above ground level to prevent wildlife from getting tangled.
8. LEAVE HEALTHY HERBACEOUS PLANTS UNPRUNED
It’s best to leave these unpruned until early Spring, as they make perfect homes for overwintering insects.
9. CREATE BUNDLES OF STEMS
If the herbaceous perennials are already cut, bundle the stems together and leave them in a secluded place. Ladybirds, beetles and other small mammals will take shelter here, and will also be on hand to prevent any early pest infestations.