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SuperValu TidyTowns Offers Ten Tips From Previous Winners

By Sarah O'Sullivan
SuperValu TidyTowns Offers Ten Tips From Previous Winners

Since the application deadline for SuperValu’s TidyTowns has passed, previous winners have issued ten tips ahead of judges’ visits in the coming weeks.

More than 1,000 towns and villages around Ireland will be visited by judges, to determine the winners.

Since the TidyTowns competition commenced, in 1958, it has become one of Ireland’s best-known sustainable and environmental initiatives.

The competition is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development and has been sponsored by SuperValu since 1991.

Last year’s competition saw 30,000 volunteers compete, with entries from over 880 towns, villages and communities across Ireland.

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‘A Lasting, Positive Impact’

Speaking ahead of the judging period, the sponsorship and community brand manager at SuperValu, John Kelly, said, “Every year, we are blown away by the commitment the over 1,000 TidyTowns committees show to improving their local area and making it a better, more sustainable place to live and work.

“The judging period is an exciting time for communities to showcase the sustainable and collective actions they are taking in their areas – from planting trees to building bee and butterfly corridors, the initiatives being led by TidyTowns groups, both big and small, make a lasting, positive impact on our planet.

“I’d also like to commend our network of dedicated SuperValu retailers, who play an integral role in spearheading local action to make a global impact through the uniting force that is the SuperValu TidyTowns competition.”

In the build-up, previous winning committees have offered their tips on nature and sustainability, which could grant an edge in judging.

Top Ten Tips For SuperValu TidyTowns

  1. Community Planning And Involvement

The most impactful community groups are those involving residents, businesses, and public bodies, with volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. Previous years have shown the incredible benefit of a group caring for the community, and the impressive results of teamwork.

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  1. A Local Biodiversity Action Plan

Devising a plan that will help your community understand, protect and enhance nature and biodiversity is key. This may include protected areas or areas important for conservation, such as waterways, field boundaries, or coastal features.

  1. Tree Planting And Habitat Creation

All TidyTowns groups are recommended to add to their existing stock of trees. This can be done by organising tree-planting initiatives, with as many residents as possible involved. Projects like hedgerow planning and bee and butterfly banks are easy and inexpensive.

  1. Actions For Pollinators

Given the importance of pollinating insects in biodiversity, it is expected that all groups will undertake projects with these species in mind. Most local authorities have signed up to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, so there will likely be assistance available in the area.

  1. Sustainability

The sustainability category calls on communities to show an understanding of what the term means and awareness of the move towards a circular economy, as well as implementation of Sustainable Development Goals. This can be done by launching a ‘shop local’ campaign, promoting ‘no waste’ gifts, such as vouchers or tickets, sharing resources in the community, such as grass-cutting equipment, and lobbies for cycle paths and routes, where applicable.

  1. Tidiness

It’s in the name! Judges keep an eye out for general clutter, blocked footpaths, redundant poles, unsightly cables, the absence of graffiti, and weed growth at kerbs. They will also look out for litter and the promotion of anti-litter campaigns.

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  1. Residential Streets And Housing

Residential streets that include townhouses are integral to towns and villages. Proper presentation of these properties is essential, as is the the maintenance of frontages, boundaries, and gable end walls. Where applicable, gardens should also be presented to a good standard. Green areas should be managed, and children’s play areas should be maintained to high standards.

  1. Planning – Streetscapes And Public Places

The conservation and presentation of heritage buildings and quality shopfronts are considered by the judges. Public spaces, such as parks, town squares, playgrounds and paving, should be maintained and accessible to all.

  1. Green Spaces

The planning, design and management of green spaces is an important factor in winning TidyTowns. Using suitable trees and shrubbery and maintaining them accordingly will come into consideration.

  1. Approach Roads, Streets And Lanes

Committees should consider the appropriate presentation of approach roads, including the roadside verges and their boundary treatments. The appearance of town and village streets, connecting roads, roundabouts, laneways, bridges, and cycle lanes are all important elements for projecting a tidy town.

Read More: SuperValu TidyTowns 2024 Launched by Minister Humphreys

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