Tidy Towns Adjudicator's Report for Dromod.
Community Involvement & Planning / Rannpháirtíocht an Phobail & Pleanáil:
Dromod is welcome to the National Tidy Towns Competition 2017. Thank you for your submission which includes a completed application form, with a good quality village map indicating the locations of your wide range of projects. This was of great assistance to the adjudicator during the visit. The future plans, including your five year Development Plan, Wildlife Enhancement and Litter Plan provide a structured approach to your on-going efforts.
The inclusion of before and after photographs, together with photographs under each category, provides a clear illustration of your impressive achievements. Your committee of 14 members, including three junior Tidy Town members, are well organised and have successfully engaged with other organising agencies, including Leitrim County Council, Leitrim Development Company, the Rural Social Scheme, ICA and the GAA, in the promotion of your village.
Built Environment and Streetscape / An Timpeallacht Thógtha agus Sráid-dreacha:
In the village core, Cox’s steakhouse has a very pleasant colour scheme and a good presentation. Opposite, the thatch building looks excellent. It is very encouraging that you have such a focused concentration on your built environment and that you have engaged with Leitrim County Council on the conservation of your listed preservation buildings. The restoration work being carried out at the railway station is impressive and adds great interest in a central location. The surrounds and access areas are well presented and had a large number of visitors on the day of adjudication. Car park boundary fencing here looks a little shabby and could do with freshening up. It is good to read that the former Garda Station has been recently purchased and is undergoing conservation development. Well done on the completion of works at Warren Lodge and Duignans. Your five year plan outlines a clear objective on the built environment and clearly lists the importance of the various protected structures. The contemporary design of the Primary Care Centre is a nice contrast with the nearby former station, and again both Brandywell and Tots Haven looked striking. A feature, throughout the village, was the bi-lingual name signs and these were greatly admired. O’Connor’s, with its traditional lettering, was also admired.
Landscaping and Open Spaces / Tírdhreachú agus Spásanna Oscailte:
Good quality sustainable landscaping is a feature of your location and the wide variety of tastefully landscaped, incidental open spaces, are well preserved and maintained. The hedging feature depicting a train on the Rooskey Road is a unique feature and a meaningful gesture to both the old and new railway connections to the village. The water feature at the ‘cross’ is well presented and is an interesting focal point, surrounded on all sides by some well-considered, colourful planting and excellent hard landscaped paved surfaces. The sensory garden and well attended playground both looked excellent. Your landscaping and maintenance programme is working very well.
Congratulations to all concerned here. A visit to the harbour area highlights the best of all categories in the competition. This area was clean and well presented with some interesting information boards being enjoyed by a number of visitors on adjudication day. Elsewhere a huge array of colourful planting, including window boxes and hanging baskets, adds greatly to the visual enjoyment of the village. The bright colours of the rose garden, stretching the length of the white-washed cottage opposite Warren Lodge, looked splendid and were a highlight in the village centre.
Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities / Fiadhúlra, Gnáthóga agus Taitneamhachtaí Nádúrtha:
The hinterland has a myriad of wildlife habitats illustrated so well on various walks and designated wildlife areas including the River, Harbour and the Coach Nature Road. Your new plan on Biodiversity and Wildlife is excellent and you are to be congratulated on seeking professional advice on this venture and working in conjunction with your local authority. The plan outlines a structured approach to your on-going efforts and clearly outlines achievable objectives for the years ahead in relation to development, management and promotion. An information board and stand were being replaced at the Harbour, and new signage was about to be installed. Well done on presentations
Sustainable Waste and Resource Management / Bainistiú Acmhainní agus Dramhaíola Inbhuanaithe:
You outline a considerable number of initiatives in your application under this heading, including your liaison with schools, local business and residents. Your campaign is well documented and clearly you are being very successful in its promotion. The agenda is wide ranging as outlined in the achievements of the past two years and contains many new objectives. The Bring Centre at Dromod Harbour is nicely sited, clean and well presented.
Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:
The village generally has a tidy appearance. Street furniture looks fresh and well maintained. Some fencing at the railway station car park, already mentioned, could be refreshed; a comment that also applies to a number of boundary walls on the Mohill Road. It is to be hoped that the complex close by the Brandywell will be regenerated in the near future. The spring clean up evidently was a great success. Well done to your school on their participation in this venture. Murals look very well in various locations and the old petrol pump presentation is a great point of interest.
Residential Streets & Housing Areas / Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta:
The large number of housing estates generally has a very good standard of presentation and maintenance and all were visited. We note your contact with the residents of various estates and that you have five members of residential groups on your committee, an involvement that augurs well for the future. It is also good to note that you have identified a number of problems and listed these with a view to resolving remaining issues. The recent tree planting is a good initiative and will have a major impact on the integration of new development in due course. Your action plan is very clear in its objectives.
Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes / Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí:
Verges to approach roads were appropriately trimmed. In the inner village, the presentation of street furniture and surfaces was bright and clean. On the approaches, announcement signage and their colourful presentation have a welcoming appearance. The committee might consider a programme in the environs on the painting and improvement of agricultural field gates, which would have the effect of extending the visual aspect of your work into the surrounding countryside.
It was a pleasure to visit Dromod and to see the commitment of the volunteers and workers in a multiplicity of projects located throughout the village. This work, combined with your structured approach, will ensure a sustainable future for Dromod.
Second Round Adjudication:
Well done on a most thorough and well-illustrated entry this year. This was confined to one single volume that made it very easy to manage for the reader. If the categories were made a little clearer it would be better still. You attach a thorough and comprehensive wildlife survey and plan as part of your entry and this is very important for a centre such as Dromod where the natural world is such a big part of your identity - especially the Lough and its many habitat types. Your entry provided a detailed account of your dedicated work over the last year.
Alas for the author, the sun did not shine on this part of Dromod’s adjudication. This didn’t seem to be at all off-putting to the dozens of boat-borne visitors to the village as part of a flotilla taking part in a cruise. Despite the rain there was a real festival atmosphere to the village as they headed to enjoy the social aspects of the cruise. And what a lovely place to disembark! The diligent work carried out on your landscaping would bring colour to the dullest of evenings.
There is a lovely approach on the Railway Road and the hedging was admired here. Although it was outside your 60 kph zone, some recent hedgerow-cutting was noted. Nice low-key planting was admired on the spotless Sligo Road. Lovely work was seen at the childcare centre but the Tots Haven building will need painting soon. Some of the recently planted Rowan trees are struggling. Not so the box-planted train, it’s well on track. Millbrook estate was very neat. Recent tree-planting was noted at Bofin Avenue. The adjudicator noted that you’ve not embraced perennials quite as much as you could, a heavy reliance on annuals noted. Your lake-side park is gorgeous and so well-cared-for. Check the straps on the birch trees for growing room. Your business premises looked great - colourful, busy and welcoming. You have a good wildlife-friendly philosophy, it seems. The bug-centric area at the
entrance to Bofin was very much admired. The butterfly illustrations especially so.
Well done Dromod, you were positively gleaming this year. Congratulations.
Max Marks 2016 Marks 2017 Marks
Community Involvement & Planning 60 45 46
Built Environment and Streetscape 50 44 44
Landscaping and Open Spaces 50 45 46
Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities 50 32 32
Sustainable Waste and Resource Management 50 21 21
Tidiness and Litter Control 90 65 66
Residential Streets & Housing Areas 50 31 31
Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes 50 39 39
Total Mark 450 322 325