circa.4300 BC to 2018 AD
Tidy Towns Competition Adjudication
Adjudication 2012
Date of judgements
  5th July 2012
29th July 2012

Overall Developmental Approach: 2012

Dalkey is welcome to the 2012 SuperValu Tidy Towns Competition. Thank you for your completed entry form, map and supporting documentation. You have a good working committee of eight which has representatives from Dunlaoghaire/Rathdown County Council and local Heritage. You engage well with the local schools, traders and residents groups. Getting support from the partnership in the form of two workers is encouraging to the committee. It is positive after much negotiating that plans have been agreed for improvements to Bullock Harbour some of which were noticed and the remainder when complete will add much enhancement to this important part of Dalkey. The adjudicator was impressed by the number of events that takes place each year in Dalkey Castle in particular the Book Festival which is anticipated will be the adjudicators return
visit this year. Congratulations on the schools achievement. It is great to see that they got centre stage on your website. The Tidy Schools initiative is a great way to get interested and to instil important areas such as wildlife and waste minimisation. The future indeed looks bright for your area. The website is a good way to keep in contact with your community and share information about upcoming events. Maybe a Facebook page would be a good addition to further promote your area and upcoming events. Your approach to the competition is a positive one, keep up the good work.

The Built Environment: 2012

The Castle and Heritage Centre part of the rich heritage of the town was the first stop. It is great that the castle is been used as a public building and the locals get to enjoy such an important part of the towns heritage. The sign for Dalkey Heritage seen at entrance to town could be cleaned. Wandering through the streets of this charming town, past the seat of Harry Latham 1922-2003 a nice paved area with nice lanterns was noted. On to the Kilbegnet close a nice area of hedging with bollards and lanterns and to quote last year’s adjudicator do these lanterns require flowers, I do not think so. The Eurospar had a very attractiveclock and is a picturesque building. It is somewhat taken from by the signage and advertisement in the window. This superb building does not need this amount of signage. The tram yard was very much admired with suitably designed trade stands. It is a joy to see you are maintaining a piece of history serving a purpose in a very traditional and innovative way. The two signs at the gate do not match in with the environment however. Patrick’s road caught the eye with the row of red brick cottages which looked superb. The Queens was also noted by the adjudicator and was equally admired. The many traditional shop fronts were admired and it is great to see them been maintained and portrayed so well. There are a number of excellent examples of well-maintained buildings in Dalkey of architectural importance. This is indeed a strong category for you.

Landscaping: 2012

Landscaping in Dalkey is obvious to the visitor. Hanging baskets can be seen in many places but do ensure not to overdo, as too many can sometimes distract from an already picturesque area. Your committee have undertaken many projects on landscape this year. It is noted that the planting of trees and shrubs form a large part of your projects. This type of more seasonal planting is recommended by the TidyTowns Unit as it is more sustainable and provides food for wildlife. The way you have outlined your projects in the different categories has been very helpful to the adjudicator. The bollards, chain and the planting complement each other and add attractiveness to the streetscape. The garden competition is a great way to get people involved and put in the extra work and to equally award all the hard work. Well done to all the winners and keep up the good work.

Wildlife and Natural Amenities: 2012

The wildlife and natural amenities is at home in its natural surroundings in Dalkey. The place has an abundance of wildlife because of its location, the location will not change but how the area is managed could. As you stated in your entry vandalism can be a challenge which the committee have to address and repair any damaged plants or trees that would take from the natural surroundings. The information boards are very educational. You have started superb process in the schools projects giving the children the chance to learn about plants and wildlife that is part of everyday living in Dalkey. The many walkways in the town and harbour will be greatly enhanced further by the regeneration of Dalkey quarry. There are many projects that are worthy of mention but red squirrel conversation is that the adjudicator hopes is successful for you. It is great to see a few have been noticed in Dalkey hills. Your website gives a great guide to all wildlife in your area. Have you considered developing a downloadable guide giving an overview to wildlife in Dalkey to accompany a walk?

Litter Control: 2012

Your endeavour to have Dalkey town free of litter is been accomplished. It can be a slow process but a worthy one. Your numbers helping the cause is large and great to see the whole town is engaging in patrols. The only way to combat litter is to have everybody on board and this appears to be working as relatively no litter was noticed on the day of adjudicating. The town is clean and the town wants to keep it that way. The council are also very supportive to retaining this standard of Dalkey litter free. It is important to keep up this good work and keep spreading the word of no litter.

Waste Minimisation: 2012

This category has confused many of the entrants to the competition. The main point of this category is to actually reduce the amount of waste been produced. The end result is reducing the waste produced and cutting down on the amount of waste sent to landfill. Your area is making good progress in this area. It is difficult because to get full benefit it needs to be a community effort. It is noted on your website the tips in the race against waste. Household composting is an excellent start and this can be complimented by reducing the waste of food. You have given some excellent tips here on your site. The use of the website, social media and even text messaging is a good way in itself to cut down on paper. Carrying out a waste audit at household and business level is also good to identify areas of potential waste. Information days and workshops are also of great benefit in this area. Continue your progress in and do liaise with local businesses in this category as they are important in developing and progressing in this category.

Tidiness: 2012
  It is difficult to write about untidiness when nearly everywhere you look, it is tidy. The bring bank was tidy and clean which is rare to notice. On approach road sign which read Dalkey heritage needed cleaning. Also noted a school sign also needed cleaning. It is noted that you are working to upgrade signage in the town. This will be a good help. Generally the town has an order of tidiness, keep up the good work.
Residential Areas: 2012

Patrick’s road line of red brick houses with their superb chimneys set the tone for your adjudicator as the favourite dwellings. One would like to know the history behind these houses which were thought to traditional to the old Dalkey and part of its heritage. The houses throughout the town were of another era and added another strand to the streetscape. The estates were all well maintained and cared for with attractive landscaping. Many private dwelling nestled behind high walls and gates that commands privacy is also part of the Dalkey streetscape. Patrick’s road line of red brick houses with their superb chimneys set the tone for your adjudicator as the favourite dwellings. One would like to know the history behind these houses which were thought to traditional to the old Dalkey and part of its heritage. The houses throughout the town were of another era and added another strand to the streetscape. The estates were all well maintained and cared for with attractive landscaping. Many private dwelling nestled behind high walls and gates that commands privacy is also part of the Dalkey streetscape. The diversity of the residential areas is noted.

Roads, Streets and Back Areas: 2012

Dalkey town and surrounds is well serviced by good road surfaces and sturdy footpaths. The lanterns in the town compliment the area and are a nice addition. The wall around the corner to the well presented Corner Note was in need of some attention. It somewhat distracted form this area. Some directional signage needs updating and you planned project should help in this area. Streets noted that are well maintained were Castle Street and Coliemore Road. The traffic moved at ease through the town and is well facilitated with adequate parking.

General Impression: 2012

Dalkey was a pleasure to visit and was promised a return visit on another day. The buildings, the location beside the sea all bring a special richness to this superb town. Your commitment to the towns development and enhancement of its fine amenities is being rewarded and continued success with your endeavours.

Second Round Adjudication: 2012
 This second adjudicator can concur with the first adjudicator that Dalkey is a fine spot, not only well preserved, but full of bustle and attraction. The main features are all beautifully presented with the natural granite stone of local origin being a most distinctive feature. As an adjudicator it is our job sometimes to nitpick but rest assured that the overall impression is extremely positive. The lane beside the Heritage Centre, a key location for the town, is marred somewhat by crash barriers and old barbed wire hanging from a gutter. This adjudicator likes the abundance of flower baskets on street poles and on the ‘Queens’ pub as they add great summer colour to the urban environment. The Tramyard is a most enticing enclave with its stalls and cafe. This is a great recent addition to the town. Your work to establish a coordinated approach to signage is welcome and this adjudicator agrees that signage at Spar is intrusive in the context of the far more tasteful shop fronts in the surrounding area. Dalkey abounds in attractive businesses, the ‘Corner Note’ deserves a special mention. It was sad to see the demise of the local bookshop. The ‘Writers Corner’ is a beautiful spot (shame about the billboard). The unusual tree here probably doesn't need the rubber tie do watch out that it doesn't end up damaging the bark. A back lane leading to the sea is a charming feature is badly littered unfortunately (leading from Rockbrook cottage). As you are aware Dalkey is blessed with natural heritage and its coast is a proposed natural heritage area while the islands are part of a recently designated special protection area. The viewing area at Coliemore harbour is excellent and the new telescope was admired. Your newly resident dolphins have attracted a lot of attention but do note that there have been reports of excessive harassment of these animals by jet skis and powerboats. This needs to be actively discouraged.


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