Carrigtwohill Tidy Towns Welcomes Volunteers as it Begins Work for this Year’s Competition

By Alan Sheehan

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Carrigtwohill Tidy Towns calls on the community for help as it aims to go “all-out” to improve on last year’s points tally.

In the 2016 competition Carrigtwohill Tidy Towns came third in Category D of Cork (South) with 269 points and the group’s Chairperson Margaret Searson and Honorary Secretary Eileen Stoap spoke to the East Cork Journal about their hopes to increase their membership and improve the score this year.

“We are actively looking for volunteers,” said Ms Searson. “Anybody wishing to volunteer would be very welcome. An hour or a half an hour a week is as much as we would ask from them to help with whatever projects we are doing at the time. We would especially like assistance from people who can rebuild old stone walls that are damaged and people with experience with wildlife and habitats. We liaise with schools about Green Schools [environmental awareness campaign] and we would be delighted if students got involved.”

Carrigtwohill Tidy Towns kicked off their work in 2017 by planting an assortment of trees on the Barryscourt Access Road and on the green area adjacent to Costcutters on Saturday, 4 February. A small amount of funding was made available by Cork County Council for the opening project on the condition that the group plant a certain type of tree.

Carrigtwohill Tidy Towns’ main work consists of maintenance, litter picking and painting and funds raised, such as from the table the group regularly hosts at the Carrigtwohill car boot sale, goes towards purchasing trees, plants, flowers and paint. Ms Searson and Ms Stoap said there were a few derelict buildings in the area that they would like to paint though that isn’t the group’s only plan for the year.

“We are looking at doing the hanging baskets again this year,” said Ms Stoap. “We would like all the houses on the Main Street to get involved and make it look like Thomas Street in Midleton. Yes you would have to buy the baskets but that is the end of the commitment. We will maintain them and water them.”

Ms Searson added: “We welcome people to pain their own premises, which would help us out as well as themselves. We will happily help out in any way we can to create a bright and colourful street. We aim to go all-out this year to get top marks in the Competition.”

Tidy Towns sustainable waste and resource management category is “one where anybody can help” said Ms Stoap. “It covers litter control,” continued Ms Stoap, “and people can be extraordinarily reckless with litter and not just in Carrigtwohill. The Carrigtwohill slip road [to the N25] is particularly bad but it is not done by locals. It is mainly fast food wrappers and containers thrown from car windows.”

Similarly Ms Searson highlights the issue of dog fouling and how the problem improved. “We installed units containing bags,” said Ms Searson, “but those are only for emergencies. We see people go to take five or six and we will ask them to please only take one as they cost quite a bit. That said there is a big improvement since those units came in. There is still a few offenders out there but we are very happy with how it is going.”

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