The winners of the SuperValu TidyTowns Competition will be announced at the annual awards at the RDS at on Friday 28th October.
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD will be joined by Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu to present award winners.
The awards will be live-streamed on (scheduled to begin at 11.45am)
Posts and images will be shared on the DRCD, SuperValu and TidyTowns, social media channels:
Twitter handles: @DeptRCD @TidyTownsIre @SuperValuIRL
Hashtags: #SuperValuTidyTowns22 #OurRuralFuture
RTE Nationwide will be filming and they will air a special programme on the event that evening on RTE1 at 7:00pm or on RTE+1 at 8.00pm.


On Tuesday evening the Chairman Tom Butler and Vice Chairman Pat Clarke represented Ballincollig Tidy Towns at the Annual Pride In Our Community Awards Ceremony at The Kingsley Hotel.
The Competition was organised by Cork County Federation Muintir na Tire and sponsored by Cork City Council and Cork County Council. The power point presentation shown on the night clearly showed the vast numbers of projects being carried out by communities in both the county and city.
There was a huge amount of pride felt as each community was recognised. It was obvious just how important it was to everyone.
Ballincollig was awarded Best Project in an Urban Area. This was awarded for our Heritage Signs and Walking Routes throughout Ballincollig.



Despite the recent downpours our Allotment continues to brighten our days. There are so many vibrant colours still on show.
We are delighted so many people comment on how well the place looks. It certainly cheers us even at this the saddest of times.




On Sunday morning despite the pouring rain, one of our volunteers and 4 of our Transition Year Students worked to remove all the planters from the Parknamore and Inniscarra Road Junctions.
They were all removed in under an hour, packed into a trailer and taken to our Allotment to be put into Compost Bay 1.
On Monday John and Adrian spent the morning emptying the planter inserts into the Compost Bay. They also washed the inserts.  
On Tuesday we removed the remaining Pole Planters.




People dumping domestic rubbish on the road is happening once again. This weekend we came across two black bags of domestic rubbish at the side of the road.
Clearly someone stopped their car, opened the door and dropped the bags at the side of the road.
This shows such a total lack of respect for our community and our Volunteers.



On Sunday morning despite the torrential rain 18 Volunteers and 4 Transition Year students gathered for the weekly litter pick.
From the litter collected, which included 1 bag of domestic rubbish dumped at Castle Road, we got 1 bag of Plastic and 1 bag of Glass.
We also collected 4 bags of Leaves from Leo Murphy Terrace.
Cost of living supports
The government announced a suite of measures to help people with the rising cost of living, such as:
  • €600 electricity credit for every household in the country and a €500 lump sum disability support grant paid to all people getting a long-term disability payment.
Age Friendly Ireland have summarised a list of further measures at the following link
Any older person who has concerns about their energy costs, finances, health, housing, or wellbeing this winter can call ALONE’s National Support and Referral Line – for access to services, advice and information on 0818 222 024.




The Sexual Health Centre will host a 5k fun run or 5K walk for World AIDS Day on Saturday 26th November in conjunction with the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme and parkrun, in a bid to tackle HIV stigma and encourage people to test regularly.
Registration is FREE. The link is:
Those who don’t have access to a device or internet can call on 021- 4276676 and the team will complete the registration form over the phone.



To register as a Vulnerable Customer please contact your current Electricity Supplier who will notify ESB Networks. ESB Networks will maintain a register of vulnerable customers based on information from all electricity suppliers. This information is kept secure and private.
Vulnerable Customer Policy—a “vulnerable customer” is defined as:
      A: critically dependent on electrically powered equipment, which shall include but is not limited to life protecting devices, assistive technologies to support independent living and medical equipment,
      B: particularly vulnerable to disconnection during winter months for reasons of advanced age or physical, sensory, intellectual or mental health. (S.I. 463, 2011)




Developing and enhancing local green spaces is a great way to play a part in forging deepercommunity roots as well as helping protect the local environment.
AXA Parks is a €1 million initiative providing over 80 local community groups across the country with funding to create or help enhance green spaces in their localities. This year it is estimated that the projects chosen will benefit over 350,000 people.
When it comes to making a meaningful impact AXA Parks is seen as a collaborative effort between the people, their customers and community groups across the country.
AXA will continue to keep people up to date on the progress being made on their journey to enhance, develop and protect green spaces in local environments across the country.
Some of the projects they have supported, and full details can be found on their website at
Children growing in tandem with nature – County Dublin
“By involving the school children and other members of the community in the entire forest planting process we hope to engender a lasting appreciation of the value of trees and of the biodiversity that these forests will support.”
– John Kiberd Stepping Stone Forests Co-Ordinator
Dodder Action Group in Dublin and the Stepping Stone Forests Project aim to create five small mini woodlands of native Irish trees and shrubs planted on the grounds of schools in the Tallaght catchment area of Dublin. Comprising local community volunteers, school staff and children, the project is a real community effort which will see local children grow and develop in tandem with the forests that they have helped to plant. Pride in their local community is so evident in the group’s enthusiasm.
Helping the older generation and the physically challenged connect with nature – Belfast
Groundworks uses previously unused urban wasteland to create productive community gardens. The focus is on teaching people gardening skills – how to grow vegetables and fruit, as well as the benefits of being outdoors and healthy eating. The gardens provide a fantastic opportunity for communities to connect with nature, food and each other. The garden welcomes volunteers, new and seasoned gardeners, as well as organisations and companies who would like to get involved.
 “With help from AXA Parks we will engage more members of the local communities in particular the funding will help us to improve access for the older generation and those who are physically challenged by installing outdoor seating and wheelchair friendly raised beds.”
– Lizzie Whyman, Horticulture Lead, The Meanwhile Gardens




The National Biodiversity Data Centre is delighted to release a new free resource: a poster of Ireland’s solitary bees. The new poster aims to raise awareness of this important but often overlooked group of bees, who are vitally important to pollination. 
There are currently 80 different types of solitary bee in Ireland. They do not form large colonies like bumblebees and honeybees, with a queen, workers and males. Instead, they nest alone.
Male and female adults normally emerge from hibernation in spring. The female finds a mate and makes a nest, within which she constructs a small number of little cells. In each cell she lays an egg and leaves a ball of food made of a mixture of pollen and nectar. Once she’s done, she will close the entire nest. With the job complete, she and the males die.
The larvae feed on the provisioned food before pupating and spending the winter hibernating, each dining and sleeping in its own single chamber. They emerge the following spring as adults, when they try to find a mate and the cycle begins again.
Most solitary bees nest in the ground
Around 80% of solitary bees in Ireland are ‘mining’ bees – they create nests by burrowing into areas of bare earth. 20% are ‘cavity-nesting bees’ – they make nests in hollow dead wood, hollow stems or crevices in loose masonry. The bee boxes/hotels you can make or buy provide homes for these cavity-nesting species. 
In the summer, it is amazing watching solitary bees, like the cavity-nesting leaf cutter bees. They come and go from their nests, carrying back pieces of leaf or petal to line the cells, and then to ‘plug’ the nest entrance when they are done.
Solitary bees are the best pollinators
Solitary bees are vitally important to pollination. Bumblebees and honey bees have evolved to carry a compact pollen pellet on their back legs, allowing them to efficiently bring as much pollen as possible back to feed their larvae. Solitary bees don’t do this. Instead, some solitary bees carry a loose pollen pellet on their hind legs, and others pack pollen into the hairy underside of their abdomen. In both cases, in trying to collect pollen to bring back to their nest, they widely scatter it between flowers. For this reason, one solitary bee female can often be a more effective pollinator than a female bumblebee or honey bee.
You can download the new solitary bee poster for free here, or from the resources page of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan website. 
Find out more:
Solitary Bees for Beginners
Blog: The Secret Life of Solitary Bees



Photo courtesy of Michael English



pics from the week:


Official Winter time begins at the weekend. Don’t forget to put your clocks back by one hour.