Free Trees

As part of National Tree Week, The Tree Council of Ireland has provided Monaghan County Council with a number of native saplings to distribute to groups who wish to plant them in public areas.

The trees are approx. 2-3ft tall, and will need staking and protecting. If you’re not prepared to do this, don’t take a tree – leave it for a group who will look after it.

If you decide to go ahead with your tree planting, contact Carol Lambe or Fionnuala Mulligan in the Community Dept of Monaghan Co Co to arrange to collect your specimens  047 30500

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Details of Special Award for ‘Waters & Communities’ in this year’s National Tidy Towns Competition

TidyTowns Waters and Communities Special Award 2019
The Waters and Communities Special Award is now open for applications with a deadline of 17th May 2019. The Award is run in conjunction with SuperValu TidyTowns Awards.
The Waters and Communities Special Award 2019 aims to get communities more involved with the natural heritage in their local areas by helping to protect, maintain and improve the quality of local waterbodies . To be eligible for this award community groups must demonstrate an appreciation for their water environment and heritage with initiatives or projects during the timespan of June 2018 to May 2019.

Examples of community initiatives include:

clean ups; provision or upgrading of public amenities; conservation of biodiversity and heritage; promotion of angling; local education and awareness raising; etc).
The Waters and Communities Award was first introduced in 2017 and is now a regular feature in the TidyTowns calendar. Last year, the overall winner of the award was Abbey TidyTowns, Co. Galway. To read about previous winners of the Waters and Communities Special Awards see https://www.catchments.ie/tidytowns-waters-communities-special-award/
All applications will be assessed by a panel of judges appointed by Inland Fisheries Ireland, Waterways Ireland and the Local Authority Waters Programme. The judges will assess each application for initiatives undertaken between June 2018 and May 2019 based on the following criteria:

1. Awareness raising (15 Marks)
2. Community involvement (20 Marks)
3. Stakeholder engagement (15 Marks)
4. Project benefits (40 Marks)
5. Lessons learned and plans for the future (10 Marks)

The Waters and Communities Award is open to any community group to apply and is sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland, Waterways Ireland and the Local Authority Waters Programme. The award has a total prize fund of €7,000. The overall winner is presented with prize money of €2,000 at the main TidyTowns awards ceremony. All other winners and runners up will be presented with prize money at the TidyTowns regional awards ceremonies.

The Application form and further details are available on the TidyTowns website www.tidytowns.ie .

Closing date for receipt of entries is 17th May 2019.
Best of luck everyone!

New project aims to reduce plastic use – looking for households and schools to work with

A new EPA funded initiative to reduce plastic use in homes and schools across Ireland is being launched by Voice, an environmental charity that aims to empower individuals and local communities to take positive action to conserve our natural resources. We are currently looking for individuals, households and schools to examine their plastic use and make small changes to reduce their plastic footprint!

The initiative uses citizen science to tackle plastic consumption in homes and schools. Citizen science involves research projects in which the public are directly engaged, gathering data and collaborating with scientists to a common end goal. The end goal is reduce our plastic consumption! It is a topic we feel strongly about here in Voice, and there is a growing discontent with plastic to be heard across the country. The next step is to move from discontent with the status quo to action! The citizen science project will enable people to take this step to change their plastic consumption. Through the initiative households and schools will be guided through using a plastic use audit to monitor the plastic in their lives. They can then sign up to plastic pledges each month to reduce their plastic consumption step by step, to make manageable and sustainable changes within their own lives. Does this interest you? If so give us a shout, we are looking for people to join us! To get involved in the project as an individual, household or school please email abi@voiceireland.org or see www.voiceireland.org

Network is renewing its membership – please update your data

The Monaghan Network of Tidy Towns Groups and Residents Associations meets two to three times a year. These meetings are organised by Monaghan County Council, which keeps a database of contacts for the groups to facilitate sending out invitations to Network activities.

New data protection regulations came into force during 2018, and it is necessary for the Council to renew the consent given by some of the contacts on its database, so that the Council may continue to hold each individual’s personal information.

In order to ensure there is no doubt about the consent from any person on the database, the Council has opted to renew the entire database.

So, if:

  • you presently attend Network meetings and wish to continue to receive notices from the Council inviting you to future meetings

OR

  • you belong to a Tidy Towns group Residents Association in Co Monaghan and would like to be added to the new database, then

click here to submit your details

 

Biodiversity Training Course

Following her visit to the Network’s spring meeting, Marianne McEneaney from the Monaghan LEADER programme has been in touch to say that she has been successful in securing funding to deliver training in biodiversity.

This course is being organised at the request of the Network members, and has been designed specifically to meet our needs.  Please support it.

MID LCDC logos

Introduction to Biodiversity Training

The training programme is aimed at community groups including tidy towns groups, allotment groups and the general population who have an interest in Biodiversity and how they can apply learning from biodiversity in their local area.

We are planning on running this training programme from a number of different locations simultaneously in Co Monaghan. The courses will be organised to facilitate where the majority of participants come from. The course will be delivered 1 session per week over 8 weeks.

The training programme will include the following element

Brief introduction to Ecology/Biology as an introduction to the science of Biodiversity.
• Local plants; Introduction to common native plants, trees and shrubs. Introduction to common field layer plants. Plant habits and habitats and how to manage plants for biodiversity. How to save seeds.
• Local wildlife; What are the common animals found in the local area? Life cycle of insects and common insect identification. Who are the local pollinators and the plants they like best?
• Invasive Species; What are invasive and alien species and how do they impact on natural habitats? Invasive species identification and control measures (4-5 most common to Monaghan area) Biosecurity action and awareness raising guidance. Who to report new sightings to.
• Good practice for biodiversity: How to manage sites for biodiversity, best practice for pesticide use etc., how a soft touch approach can help plants and animals. Raise awareness of your biodiversity work: planting days, seasonal events, celebration days. Activities to raise awareness of the importance of protecting biodiversity (nature walks etc)
• Developing sites and amenities for wellbeing, How natural amenities provide tangible benefits to communities (positive living, mental health), How to make your site a place of calm and refuge?
• Development of Bio Diversity Plan -The training will include the development of a bio-diversity plan for a project that the group or individual is interested in. The trainer/facilitator will offer individualised support and guidance in the development of the plan.
• Study Visit; A study visit to showcase the benefits to local communities of the availability of nature amenities and for the potential for tourism and the local economy.

To apply for a place on this training course you need to complete a short Application Form, which can be downloaded from https://www.midl.ie/index.php/news/95-leader-introduction-to-biodiversity-training
or contact Marianne (042 9749502) or Rita (042 9749501) in Monaghan Integrated Developments Office or email mmceneaney@midl.ie

 

 

The Big Day Out- Incriminating Photos

group photo

and here we mostly are! (A few missing)

Well, we went, we saw, we had a ball!

40 intrepid Tidy Towns and Residents Associations volunteers from all around the county, supported by Monaghan County Council, took to the road last Saturday, 25th August in the last of the glorious sunshine, and headed north for this year’s field trip to brush up on our knowledge, get to know one another a little better and have a bit of craic along the way.

First port of call was to the very beautiful village of Hillsborough, Co. Down, where Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Head Grounds Maintenance Manager Stephen Mackle met us to show us around their award winning floral displays, including two 3-d creations of a horse and cart and a tractor!   Even though he has a crew of over sixty staff at his disposal, many of his tips were very practical and will enable us to get a bigger bang for our efforts, such as rotivating wildflower areas every winter to stop the weeds and grasses from taking over.

From Hillsborough, we travelled onward to Rowallane Gardens, a National Trust-owned  property which started life as a farm owned by a keen botanist, whose nephew continued the collection after his death.  There we were treated to a very tasty lunch, followed by a guided tour of the garden. There were trees aplenty to keep Dennis happy, and then we had a potter around their gorgeous walled garden, which had a mix of formal beds and wildflower areas.

Then it was off into Belfast, for a visit to the Botanical Gardens, where Carol let us off the leash with a map of the grounds and a promise to be back at the bus by 5pm.  There was plenty to see here too, with stunning herbaceous borders, beautifully planted formal beds, a rose garden with hundreds of varieties of rose, as well as tropical plants and palms.

A wonderful day, hugely enjoyable, and very informative.  Our thanks to Monaghan County Council for arranging the event.

Here are some photos to give you a flavour of the trip – but as always, what happens on the Tidy Towns tour, stays on the Tidy Towns tour!

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Tidy Towns on Tour…….Sat 25th August to Rowallane Garden & Hillsborough village

This year’s study trip takes us North of the Border (before they close it!!) to the National Trust property, Rowallane Garden, where we will be given a guided tour of the garden and treated to some homemade scones.

We will then wander into the picturesque Hillsborough village, to examine the streetscaping and planting throughout the public spaces.

From there it is but a short hop into Belfast city centre, where we will round off the day with a relaxing browse through the spectacular botanic gardens and finish off our day with a wee bite to eat.

The trip is open to Tidy Towns groups and Residents Associations throughout Co. Monaghan. Maximum of 3 persons per group.

To book your place on the bus,  contact Carol at clambe@monaghancoco.ie or 047 73725

More info:

Rowallane Garden:   https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/rowallane-garden

 

Belfast Botanic Gardens

Monaghan Co Co’s Local Agenda 21 Fund now open for applications

Environmental Awareness
Do you have a project or initiative that could help to increase awareness of environmental issues locally, or that could help your community to become more sustainable?

If so, you may qualify for financial assistance from the Local Agenda 21 (LA21) Environmental Partnership Fund 2018. This Fund promotes sustainable development by assisting small scale, non-profit environmental projects at local level.

Does Your Project Qualify?
Projects should focus on environmental awareness and actions which complement national environmental policies such as those on waste, biodiversity, water conservation and climate change.

A wide variety of projects and schemes have been supported under the Fund in previous years, including community gardens and allotments, compost schemes, rainwater harvesting, biodiversity projects, waste reduction initiatives, educational initiatives and environmental exhibitions. Lists of previously funded projects can be viewed online at:
http://dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/environment/topics/environmental-protection-and-awareness

How to Apply
Applications forms are available from www.monaghan.ie or directly from Environmental Services, Monaghan County Council, Carrickmacross, Civic Offices, Riverside Road Carrickmacross. 042 9661240 contact person: Mary McCoy mmccoy@monaghancoco.ie

Applications must be made to no later than 5pm, 20 June 2018 on official application form to the above address or via email to mmccoy@monaghancoco.ie
For general information on the Scheme please or to discuss a project contact Nial O’Connor 042 9661240

Pollinator Workshop 10th May

Making Monaghan Pollinator Friendly
In the knowledge that one-third of our bees are at risk of extinction, Monaghan Tidy Towns will introduce you to the All Ireland Pollinator Plan and what you can do to save our bees.

When: Thursday May 10th at 7.30pm 

Where: Westenra Hotel, Monaghan

Refreshments will be served, All welcome

If you wish to attend, contact Emer Brennan in Monaghan Tidy Towns:  emerbrennan@eircom.net