Tag Archives: Tidy Towns

Clane Tidy Towns 2017 – it’s a Bronze!

Congratulations to all involved in the Clane Tidy Towns campaign 2017. The results of the national competition have just been announced and Clane has earned a Bronze Medal!

For all the details please see the judging comments.

All are invited to our local Awards Night where we will reveal our best kept estates and best-presented premises competition winners, as well as celebrate everyone’s contributions and this year’s achievements.

See you there!

Scoil Phadráig’s Biodiversity Green Flag Initiative

The Green Schools committee, students, and staff at Scoil Phádraig are working hard towards securing their next Green Flag. Under the stewardship of Deputy Principal Mr. Eyres, over 200 nestboxes and insect hotels were recently produced and distributed amongst the families of those attending. An additional 50 boxes were very generously presented to Clane Tidy Towns and Kildare Branch of Birdwatch Ireland.

To help mark this wonderful contribution, John Kennedy from Clane Community Council’s Clane Tidy Towns presented a talk “Wild About Clane” to a hall full of 6 classes of students. The enthusiastic boys proved to be very knowledgeable, but were genuinely surprised to learn of some of our local wildlife. Butterflies that migrate to Clane all the way from Africa. Animals that can catch grey squirrels but not the native red. Birds that once they leave their nest up high on buildings on our Main Street, do not stop flying till they try to nest themselves two or three years later. Garden Tigers, Elephant Hawkmoths and more.


John Kennedy, Clane Tidy Towns, introducing local biodiversity

The audience also asked some valuable questions, and learned of very practical and surprising ways they can help protect biodiversity in Clane. Thoughtless acts such as Littering and Graffiti cost so much time and money – and huge efforts in volunteer fundraising – that stamping them out would give volunteers in Clane the ability to fund and do much more exciting things of benefit to the community – including wildlife initiatives.

What's This???

What’s This???

The talk ended with a big thank you to the school: the Green Flags awarded to the primary schools of Clane are a very important contribution to our Clane Tidy Towns activities and helped Clane achieve a Bronze Medal for the first time in the 2014 national competition. We wish them every success in their campaign for their next Green Flag.

Members of the Green School's Committee presenting their Nest Boxes

Members of the Green School’s Committee presenting over 50 Nest Boxes to Clane Tidy Towns and Kildare Branch of Birdwatch Ireland




Clane Tidy Towns Award Night

Clane Tidy Towns Logo - 2013Clane Tidy Towns held their annual awards night on Friday 17th October last where the winners of their Best Kept Estates and Best Presented Premises competitions – generously sponsored by Clane Project Centre – were unveiled.

Clane Tidy Towns founding member Tony McEvoy compered the evening. John Kennedy, Chairman of Clane Community Council, congratulated the Tidy Towns team and everyone that contributed to their efforts on a wonderful year. It was a remarkable year for Clane took home its first medal in the National Tidy Towns competition, a bronze, a wonderful achievement for which everyone should be proud.

Tony then listed some of the local businesses, organisations, clubs and individuals that had contributed to this years success. This assistance was supplemented by the great work of the residents and their residents’ associations, as visible through their efforts in the Best Kept Estate competition.

The prizewinners were announced by Tidy Towns team member Jeanette Drumm, and presented by Ted Murray of Clane Project Centre, the generous sponsors of the competition.

The winners of the Best Kept Estates competition 2014 are:

Small Estates:
1 – College Grove
2 – Mainham Wood

Medium Sized Estates:
1 – Park View
2 – Otomy Estate

Large Estates:
1 – Central Park & Churchfield
2 – Abbey Park
3 – Joint winners Alexandra Walk & Park and Brooklands

The winner of the 2014 Clane Best Presented Premises competition is

KARE Centre on the Celbridge Road

A sincere thank you to all the estates that participated in the competition, and to everyone that has contributed in any way to Clane’s Tidy Towns efforts.

Clane takes the Bronze in Tidy Towns 2014!

Clane Tidy Towns Logo - 2013Every resident, business, club and organisation that contributed to Clane Tidy Towns activities in 2014 can take a bow: for the first time in its 40 years of participation, Clane was awarded a Bronze Medal in the national Tidy Towns competition 2014.

With a maximum score being 450 points, for our size of village Clane was just 9 points behind Silver medalists Buncrana and Youghal and 23 away from a Gold which was earned by Westport, Skerries and Carrickmacross.

Tidy towns has evolved significantly over the recent years and is no longer just about tidiness. The total of 450 points are available from the following categories:

  • Community Involvement & Planning (60)
  • Built Environment and Streetscape (50)
  • Landscaping and Open Spaces (50)
  • Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities (50)
  • Sustainable Waste and Resource Management (50)
  • Tidiness and Litter Control (90)
  • Residential Streets & Housing Areas (50)
  • Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes (50)

The commitment of the volunteers on the Clane Tidy Towns team, together with the wonderful contributions of the many Resident’s Associations, Businesses, Schools and Community Groups in Clane were all noticed and commended by the adjudicator.

You can read all the details for yourself in the two-page Adjudicator Report for Clane. Please take a look and see how we were judged. If you have any suggestions for how Clane can do even better in future years we would love to hear from you. You can email ClaneTidyTowns@gmail.com, come along to any of our meetings in the Community Calendar, or talk to any of the Tidy Towns team in person.

One great opportunity to meet the team will be our annual awards night which will be held later in October. This will be a special night to celebrate all the hard work of the community. We will publish more details on ClaneCommunity.ie as we get closer to the time…if you haven’t joined the Community Council mailing list already you can click here to stay informed.

Best-Kept Estate Competition – now open for entries!

Clane Tidy Towns Logo - 2013Clane Tidy Towns are delighted to again hold our popular Best Kept Estates competition thanks to the continued generous sponsorship by Clane Project Centre.

This year there are some changes to the competition format. Rather than score an estate under various categories based on one visit, this year the judges will be asked to consider each estate from a broader point of view, and to make any comments they deem appropriate rather than give scores based on just one visit. They will take into account any initiatives since the last competition that they are made aware of in the entry form.

More information on the competition is available here and all housing estates are encouraged to enter. Paper forms have been distributed but estates can alternatively fill out the online entry form here.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact anyone on the Tidy Towns team or email ClaneTidyTowns@gmail.com.

Our residential areas have helped Clane make great progress in the National Tidy Towns competitions in recent years. We look forward to seeing you at our awards night later in the year to help celebrate everyone’s contributions this year. Thank you for you continued support.

Spring Clean 2013 – Thank You!!

Saturday April 6th was Spring Clean 2013 and it was great to see volunteers from Clane Tidy Towns, Tír na Móna and many Residents’ Associations all out on the day giving Clane and it’s environs a thorough clean-up.

A JCB and tractor and trailer were again hired this year to help out, and over the course of the day the areas tackled included:

  • The yard and ditches by the Health and Leisure Centre (Behan’s Yard)
  • The “Capdoo Business Park” site beside Lidl
  • The ditch on the Celbridge Road opposite Lidl
  • Nancy’s Lane
  • The ditches from Betaghstown Cross to Boherhole Cross
  • A corner of the green near The Orchard, Loughbollard
  • The Ballinagappa Road

Many Residents’ Associations also took advantage of the fine weather to tackle their estates, and several trailer loads of clippings and litter were gathered and removed.

Whilst more than two large skip-fulls of rubbish were collected in this year’s event, it was heartening to note that areas receiving deep-cleans last year did not need serious attention this year. Perhaps an increasing awareness of recycling opportunities, a growing intolerance towards pollution in our countryside and a string of successful prosecutions for illegal dumping are beginning to pay dividends. However we must continue to be vigilent. Please report any dumping to Clane Tidy Towns or the Kildare Litter Warden hotline at 1800 243 143.

A big thank-you to all who contributed to the event, and especially to Cllr Padraig McEvoy for coordinating the activities in Clane.

Sailing into 2nd Place…Together

St Patricks Parade 2013Clane Community Council was delighted to be awarded 2nd Prize for Non-Commercial Floats in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

With a hoard of Vikings returning back to Clane for the Gathering, their longship – the M.V. Clane – boasted shields featuring many aspects of Clane Community Council: Tidy Towns, The Friary, Community Games, The Abbey, Clanewatch, Heritage, and the Liffeyside Nature Park.

St Patricks Parade 2013Spreading the message that as a community “We’re all in the Same Boat”, the float invited everyone to “Let’s all Row Together”.

Well done to everyone in the parade for putting on such a good show, and our congratulations to the hard-working St. Patrick’s Festival Committee, and to everyone who supported them, for running such a fantastic programme of events.

Clane Tidy Towns announces Community Tree-Planting Scheme

Clane Tidy Towns LogoClane Tidy Towns is delighted to launch a community tree-planting scheme to help mark 40 Years of Community in Clane. It is hoped to plant up to 40 trees in and around the community. All residents’ associations and owners of publically accessible land are invited to apply for some of these trees. Maybe an existing tree needs to be replaced, or maybe a few new trees would sit nicely in some corner. Professionals have kindly volunteered to work with the successful applicants to help identify suitable species, sizes and quantities of trees for each site.

Please see our dedicated Communty Tree-Planting project page for all the details, and the application form.

Clane Tidy Towns Award Night, and Person of the Year 2012

October 30th was the annual Awards Night for Clane Tidy Towns, with the eagerly awaited results announced for the 2012 Best Kept Estates and Best Presented Premises competitions.

With a record 21 local estates entering, prizes were awarded for Small, Medium and Large estate categories. Generously sponsored by Clane Project Centre, and supported on the night by local businesses Manzors, Doolans and P J Wallaces, the well deserving winners of Best Kept Estates were:

Small Estates:

  • 1st Prize College Grove,
  • 2nd Prize Mainham Wood.

Medium Estates:

  • 1st Prize Park View,
  • 2nd Prize Alexandra Park.

Large Estates:

  • 1st Prize Abbey Park,
  • 2nd Prize Central Park and Churchfield,
  • 3rd Prize jointly awarded to Loughbollard and Alexandra Walk.

All estates that entered received a voucher to go some way towards recognizing the very valuable contribution they all make towards making Clane, our home, look so well.

Launched just a few years ago, the winner of the Best Presented Premises 2012 was also announced. This year the accolade went to Marron’s Pharmacy, and Lord Mayor of Clane Dessie Marron was delighted to receive the award.

The night was also the occasion when the identity of Clane Person of the Year, 2012, was revealed. This year Clane Community Council decided to award it not to an individual, but to an organization they felt embodies so much of what is good about Clane, and which truly demonstrates the deeper meaning of the word Community. Clane Person of the Year was awarded to the Clane Conference of Saint Vincent de Paul, and their President Austin Daly was honored to accept it on behalf of the 20 or so volunteers that work so hard for this tremendous organization, now supporting over 110 families in the immediate area. Special mention was also made of Moira Fogarty who could not be there on the night, but who has played such a key role in the organization since it’s inception over 28 years ago. Our sincere congratulations and gratitude to these very worthy winners.

Tidy Towns 2012 – the results are out!

The National Tidy Towns Competition results are out and all our businesses and organisations that are “Committed to Clane-Up”, all our residents that have maintained their ‘patch’, all our volunteers that weeded the main street, picked-up the litter, planted hedges and built nest-boxes can take a bow – Clane received a wonderful 274 points, an increase of 5 on last year.

This was a particularly uncertain year for Clane’s Tidy Towns Committee: due to recent growth in population we were moved up a category and in County Kildare are now in the same band as Kilcock, Athy and Kildare. However, joining this new category has encouraged the hard-working Tidy Towns team to think bigger, and we hope you’ll agree that the results can be seen in projects like the quickly maturing hedge on the approach road from Naas, the beautiful flower tubs on main street, the wonderfully maintained Garden of Remembrance (now carefully tended to by our Tús Scheme workers), and the nest and bat boxes that have gone up in and around the town.

The full adjudicator’s report for Clane can be downloaded from the Tidy Towns website. Why not take a look and see what caught the adjudicators eye – both good and bad. Perhaps you can think of new ways to help progress Clane even further in the competition – the committee would love to hear your ideas.

A big thank you again to everybody who contributed to Clane Tidy Towns 2012 – well done indeed.

Clane Nest Box Scheme 2012 – the results!!

In early 2012 Clane Tidy Towns, in association with the Kildare Branch of Birdwatch Ireland, launched our Nest Box Scheme.

A selection of the nest boxes donated to Clane Nest Box Scheme

A survey identified several species that could be reasonably expected to be attracted to nest boxes in Clane, appropriate sites were identified around the town, and suggested nest box designs were drawn up.

People were invited to create and donate nest boxes, and a wonderful total of 18 boxes (including 4 from the local Men’s Shed) were assembled, gratefully received, painted up and carefully installed.

Over the course of the breeding season these boxes were monitored under license from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and now that the season is over (at least for these nest boxes) we are delighted to share our results.

"With beautiful views over the Liffey..."

Despite the inclement weather which drastically affected the population of caterpillars on which most nestlings are fed, we are delighted to report that nests were constructed in 9 of the boxes, and young were successfully raised in 7 of these nests. Eggs were not laid in one of the nests, and in another the nest was abandoned for some reason before the eggs hatched. Of the 18 nest boxes originally installed a total of 37 young were successfully reared – a wonderful result for the first year of the scheme. All the nests were occupied by Blue Tit, one of our targeted species. Details of the nesting results were contributed to the BTO’s Nest Record Scheme to assist in long term research.

Of the 18 nest boxes installed we actually went ahead and installed a camera in one of them, and connected it up to a recorder. By shear luck, a pair of Blue Tits started to construct their nest in the box the day after the camera went in!! The complete nest was not visible to the camera but at least 9 eggs were seen to be laid and at least 8 young were counted leaving the nest a few short weeks later. The transformation from empty wooden box to chaotic home full of at least 10 birds was wonderful to witness, and we are delighted now to share some of the highlights below having uploaded them to YouTube. A big thank you to the staff and members of the John Sullivan Resource Centre who kept a close eye on the birds. They christened the mum Annabelle, and the dad was named Apollo. We hope you enjoy the clips below.

A big thank you to everyone who supported the Nest Box Scheme in 2012 – the results were very encouraging. Here’s wishing the 37 young that were raised all the best in and around Clane in the coming weeks and months.

If you go down to the stream today…

… you may be in for a big surprise! Clane Tidy Towns volunteers certainly got a big surprise when clearing out rubbish from a local stream over the weekend. They managed to capture on video not just some fine Brown Trout, but also a White-Clawed Freshwater Crayfish that was struggling to hold onto their lunch – a Brook Lamprey. Both of these species are protected, so an important sighting for Clane.

The fish managed to struggle free in the end:

And the Brown Trout:

GAA Scrap Week Fundraiser

Clane GAA have organised a scrap metal collection from May 28th to June 2nd to raise funds for their under age teams. Please drop off any scrap metal to O’Connell’s Yard, Millicent Road, Clane this week. For all the details including a list of the types of items accepted please see the Scrap Week Fundraiser Details. Why not take a quick look in the back garden, attic or shed and see if you can de-clutter and support our under age GAA teams at the same time?

Committed to Clane-Up!

Clane Tidy Towns are delighted to announce the launch of their new “Committed to Clane-Up” initiative. Businesses and organisations that commit to cleaning up around their premises are provided with a “Committed to Clane-Up” sticker to display in their shop window. Clane Tidy Towns are delighted with the enthusiasm local businesses have already shown signing up to the scheme and salute them for playing their part in making Clane an even better place for locals and visitors alike.

If your business or organisation would like to join the scheme please send an email to ClaneTidyTowns@gmail.com or drop down to the village green in front of the Abbey on Tuesday evenings at 7:30pm where the volunteers gather for the regular weekly cleanups.

Saving Clane Swifts…

Swift (by Dick Coombes)

A recent study by volunteers of Kildare Branch of Birdwatch Ireland revealed that Clane is at risk of losing a species that has graced our skies since possibly the first buildings were built in Clane. A bird with an amazing story: the swift.

Swifts only spend a few months of the year in Clane, arriving in late April from sub-Saharan Africa, and departing by the end of August. Somewhat similar to swallows, house martins and sand martins, swifts are perhaps twice as large with stiff scythe like wings. They can sometimes be heard frantically chasing and screaming after each other in and around our buildings in the summer evenings.

Swifts are true masters of the air. They eat, drink, mate and even sleep on the wing – in fact swifts typically only stop flying to breed. So, once young swifts leap out of their nest for the first time, they may not stop flying for two or three years, until they are ready to look for a nest site themselves and start a family. Swifts typically nest in gaps under roof tiles of tall buildings, but modern building and roofing techniques are making it more and more difficult for them to find suitable nesting sites. Luckily solutions are not too complex and volunteer groups such as the Northern Ireland Swift Group are working to raise awareness and improve the lot for these birds.

The Abbey, Clane

Last year about 10 swifts were seen flying in and around Clane, but only two swift nests were actually located – both in very old buildings, and one in a building that may be redeveloped shortly. With the possibility of existing nest sites being lost, Clane Community Council and Clane Tidy Towns have made a special effort to preserve this species in Clane by providing dedicated accommodation for swifts in the tower of the Abbey.

A swift colony nest box that includes space for five nests has been specially constructed and installed behind the louvres of the window high up above the main door to the Abbey. The entrances are designed to line up with existing gaps in the louvres, and yet not let starlings in. The rear is designed to allow the nests be checked discreetly, and cleaned. Each nest includes a simple ‘concave’ to keep the eggs from rolling around and possibly even out of the nest box.

The new nest boxes with rear windows and walls removed

The next challenge in this project will be encouraging swifts that have been flying non-stop for two or three years to finally come to a rest and consider a nest site in this particular window. Although one of the current nest sites is nearby, success is not guaranteed. Another factor is food supply. Swifts only eat insects, so the health of our surrounding gardens, fields, rivers and countryside will also be important to ensure that there are enough insects for them to breed successfully. However, fingers are crossed. If the younger swifts simply discover the nest boxes this summer it could be an important step to securing the presence of this amazing bird in Clane for hopefully many years to come.

The nest boxes with their rear wall removed

Temporarily blocking the louvres beneath the nestboxes

The new nest boxes awaiting prospective tenants

Have you seen our missing nest box?

Earlier this year Clane Tidy Towns ran a nest box scheme in association with the Kildare Branch of Birdwatch Ireland. We were delighted with the response: in the end 18 boxes were generously donated by the community, and installed in carefully chosen locations.

Unfortunately however, one of these boxes has been removed by somebody in the last few weeks.

The missing nestbox number 1, with distinctive Clane Tity Towns logo.

Box number 1, with our Abbey and “CTT” Logo painted on the side, was carefully hand-made by a local retired gentleman. This unique box even boasted a torched felt roof. We were really curious to see if it would be occupied: it is very disappointing that this box has been interfered with.

If you come across the box, or have any information on its whereabouts, please let anyone on the Tidy Towns team know. Information can also be sent (in confidence and anonymously if necessary) to ClaneTidyTowns@gmail.com.

Nestbox 1 after installation

The bare tree today

Clane goes a little bit Batty

Hot on the heels of a successful Nestbox Scheme for our feathered friends, Clane Tidy Towns is not forgetting our other aerial, ahem, acro-bats. Working closely with Kildare Bat Group and Bat Conservation Ireland, two specialised bat boxes have recently been installed.

Clane's new bat boxes

These ‘boxes’ are actually a bit like large concrete mineral bottles. They are made from concrete so that the temperature does not fluctuate as much as in a wooden box, and are painted black and installed facing South so they absorb as much heat as possible. The inside of the box has a rough surface so that bats can climb up inside them.

All Irish bats are insect eaters, and so are very small. Anything from one or two to twenty or thirty bats might move into these boxes. We will monitor the boxes carefully and keep you posted of any developments.

You can see one of these bat boxes for yourself by the Liffey in our Liffeyside Nature Park. Four species of bat (the Leisler, Daubenton, Soprano Pipestrelle and Common Pipestrelle) have been recorded by the Liffey recently. These bats can each hoover up more than 2000 moths and midges every night. We hope they enjoy their new accommodation.

For more information on bats in Ireland check out Bat Conservation Ireland‘s website.

Kildare Bat Group records installation details of bat box 1

Bat box 2 open for business

Spring Clean 2012 – thank you!

A big thank you to everyone who turned out today and in previous days to help clean up the countryside around Clane. With the initiative coordinated by Tír na Móna, and with support from An Taisce, AES and Kildare County Council, the local effort was spearheaded by Cllr Pádraig McEvoy. Members of Clane Tidy Towns and Clane Community Council organised teams of volunteers of all ages, and spread out around the local roads. A phenomenal amount of rubbish was removed, some of it with a JCB, and Clane’s Main Street also received a thorough spring clean.

Many residents’ associations took the opportunity to clear up their public spaces, and this waste was removed also.

To help sustain energy levels throughout the day a wonderful cup of tea and lunch were provided by the volunteers in St. Kevin’s GAA, Staplestown.

To minimise landfill, the rubbish collected was segregated, and the various piles of green waste, general waste, electrical appliances, metal, tyres and litter (collected on an ongoing basis) can be seen in the accompanying photos.

All who helped out can sleep easy that this volume of rubbish has been cleared from our environs. If you spot dumping appearing from now on, please inform Clane Tidy Towns or the Kildare Litter Warden hotline at 1800 243 143.

Clane Community Council – Best Themed Float 2012!

Clane Community Council was delighted to be awarded Best Themed Float for the Clane St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2012. Featuring Oisín Aosta, Oisín Óg, Niamh and a team of warriors and volunteers from Clane Tidy Towns, the team dragged the last boulder out of Clane, revealing a beautiful village twinned with Tír na nÓg.

Despite the inclement weather there were smiles all round during the parade itself and it seemed like everyone had a great day.

A big thank you to everyone who helped put our float together, and a very well done to the St. Patrick’s Festival Committee for pulling off a fantastic 8th festival in a row.

Spring ‘Clane-Up’…March 31st

The Spring is upon us and it is time for our annual Spring Clean. In association with Tír na Móna, Clane Tidy Towns will be cleaning up the roads and ditches in and around Clane on Saturday March 31st starting at 10AM.

Why not organise your neighbours or resident’s association to adopt a local ditch or clean up the area outside your estate. Please contact Cllr Pádraig McEvoy on 086 8658262 to organise disposal of the rubbish you collect.