Some people have asked us about large uncut sections of grass on the Poulavone Roundabout. We decided not to cut these 3 pieces but to leave them grow naturally.
We tried this out last year and felt it made a difference but this year even more so. Several different coloured flowers are actually growing in this wild grass and the bees are plentiful. The idea is certainly flourishing.



This week both Adrian and Thomas concentrated their efforts cleaning around the Hydrangeas that run from Carrigrohane to Poulavone. This is one of our toughest annual projects as there is so much work to be done to have the area looking its best. They made great progress and already the place looks better.
Thursday, they spent their time clearing the weeds from under the beech hedge in front of Aylesbury.



On Sunday morning there were 27 Volunteers and 3 Transition Year students out for the weekly litter pick.
Most of the litter picking was carried out from Carrigrohane to Classes and all the areas in between.
Two Volunteers were dead-heading the tulips while Denis took the 3 Transition Year students (helped by 2 Volunteers) to plant the remainder of the mini orchard in Westgate. We intend to provide Westgate with plants from the Allotment to enhance their grounds even more.
Pat collected 14 bags of Litter, 1 bag of Plastic and 1 bag of Cans which included all the litter collected by our Volunteers during the daily litter picks.
Afterwards we all sat enjoying coffee and cake at The Plaza.



This week BTT submitted its entry for this year’s Super Valu National Tidy Towns Competition. A huge amount of time goes into preparing the submission each year as every Tidy Towns group will know. There is always a mixture of excitement and nervousness when we submit the entry and this year is no different.  



Tuesday night 10 Volunteers turned out to work on Poulavone Roundabout. They got through a lot of work. They completed the extensions to the beds and those done last week were freshened up. Some of the other Volunteers worked on the centre section.
Others were litter picking in the centre of town.



Ten Volunteers came out for the Thursday work night. Eight of them worked on the Poulavone Roundabout while the other 2 were litter picking. The final touches were being made before next week’s planting.
Our Bee Boxes made a welcome return tonight, a real sign that summer is here.
Next week up to 200 pollinator friendly shrubs will be planted on the roundabout.



The Special Awards attached to the Super Valu Tidy Towns competition for 2023 bring an additional level of interest to Tidy Towns groups and others who can showcase certain projects they have been working on.
There are 16 Special Awards on offer this year. These awards carry prizes of cash and support to Tidy Towns groups with a combined value of €62,600. More information on each of these can be found by visiting www.tidytowns.ie. It is certainly worth entering some of these wonderful awards.
The closing dates for the special award entries are later than the main competition. These dates range from June 2nd to June 9th. Each award closing date is listed on the Tidy Towns website. Entry forms should be returned to the sponsors email address given on the entry form. There is the possibility of picking up additional marks in the main competition for works on special award projects. It is advised to tell the Adjudicator in the main entry form if any of the special awards have been entered.
The following are the Special Awards for 2023 –
The Department of Environment, Climate & Communications are sponsoring two awards. These carry a combined total of €12,000 in prize money – The awards are – Climate Action Award €6,000 and Sustainable Development Goals €6,000.
Again, this year the Tree Council of Ireland will sponsor the Tree Award with a cash prize of €1,000.
The Department of Rural and community Development with a prize fund of €5,000 will once again sponsor the Young Persons in Tidy Towns Awards. The Department will also sponsor the Island Award, which is worth €1,500.
The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland continue their support for the competition. This year   they sponsor two awards with a combined prize fund of €5,500. The awards are – Town Challenge Award €5,000 and Good Windows Award €500.
The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media continue to sponsor the Gaeltacht Award with cash prizes worth €2,500.
Leave no Trace Ireland continue with their sponsorship of the Leave No Trace Award and this year the award carries a prize worth €1,100.
This year the Heritage Award carries a cash prize of €3,000 and is sponsored by the Heritage Council.
The Gum Litter Taskforce Award aims to increase awareness around the area of chewing gum litter and their sponsorship carries a cash prize of €5,000.
The Waters and Communities Award is sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland, Waterways Ireland and the Local Authority Waters Programme and carries a prize fund of €7,000.
The Tidy Towns School Award carries a prize of €5,000. Sponsored by SuperValu, it aligns with the recent initiative around growing your own food.
In support with AsIAm, SuperValu continue sponsoring the Inclusive Communities Award with a cash prize of €2,000.
The Circular Economy award is sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and carries a cash prize of €2,000.
The All Ireland Pollinator Award has a cash prize fund of €10,000 and is sponsored by Heritage Offices & Biodiversity Offices of Local Authorities across Ireland, in partnership with the National Biodiversity Data Centre.
More details on all the awards can be found by visiting www.tidytowns.ie Everyone is encouraged to give some thought to these awards and to note the extended closing dates.



The following is some information on “Sustainability- Doing more with less”. This information has been taken from the Super Valu Tidy Towns handbook section on this category which in addition to the other sections can all be found by visiting this link; https://www.tidytowns.ie/competition/handbook/
A surprising number of things come under the broad title of resources. We tend to think of the various waste bins and what resources could be saved there. It is also important to think about other important resources such as water, energy, transport, food and ‘food miles’, equipment, and reusable items. Tidy Towns Committees can take many steps to reduce the level of resources used and to become more efficient at using resources, while at the same time reducing waste generation. These range from basic, easy-to-do steps to more creative activities. Tidy Towns Committees can encourage the community to think about small behaviour changes such as bulk buying, avoiding disposable products, using local libraries and repairing goods. This is known as resource efficiency.
The world is showing the stresses and strains of this “take, make, waste” model so its moving towards a Circular Economy to preserve precious natural resources, protect habitats and reduce pollution.
Circular Economy systems; – Keep the added value in products for as long as possible and aims to eliminate waste through renewal, reuse, repair, upgrading or refurbishment. – Keep resources within the economy when a product has reached end of life, so that they can be productively used again and again, creating further value.
Food Waste
If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China & the U.S. 8% of global greenhouse gases comes from Food Waste. In Ireland, one million tonnes of Food Waste are produced per year, 60% of this comes from household and commercial waste. The EU Circular Economy Action Plan requires EU-wide Food Waste reduction of 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.
Community Gardening
There are lots of examples of community/communal gardens or allotments. Gardening encourages good environmental behaviour and reduces packaging, chemical use and food waste. It reduces the carbon footprint because the food is grown locally – not travelling thousands of miles from farm to fork. Communities can plant fruit trees and bushes for everyone to use that would be just as attractive as many ‘ornamental’ varieties. One community organised an ‘Incredible Edibles’ initiative whereby window boxes outside shops on the main street were planted with edible herbs and locals were encouraged to help themselves. In another small village park, the school children made a sign encouraging people to take herbs and even provided recipe suggestions.
Home and Community Composting
Tidy Towns groups can compost grass cuttings and make leaf mould from fallen leaves (a valuable soil conditioner). Show that your Tidy Towns committee is using your own compost in your planting and landscaping activities. Encouraging locals to compost at home is a great way of minimising waste and reducing the carbon footprint (less energy used than using organic brown bin). If there are brown bins for organic waste available, are they being used properly or is an awareness campaign required? The information is easily available – just use it for your local campaign.
So much more information on this category and indeed the other categories can be found by referring to the Handbook, all of which are available to download from the website. The national panel of Tidy Towns Adjudicators monitor the information in the Handbooks to ensure it is it up to date.
Green schools travel team www.greenschools.ie
Promote walking – walkability survey, get Ireland active, operation transformation, healthy heart walks cycling – safe cycle routes, cycle skills local cycle clubs, fun family cycles
Park and ride – park and stride
Car pooling
Using public transport
Fix leaks and drips, 
Monitor meter readings – graphs, 
Install flush/flow devices
Green schools – water saving actions
Install auto shut off or push taps
Rainwater harvesting
Gardening/planting to conserve water



Ballincollig Tidy Towns members were happy to be able to assist in stewarding at the Darkness Into Light walk last Saturday morning. The turnout was huge, way more than was expected making the walk a great success. Congratulations to everyone in Darkness Into Light.