The national tidy towns judges visited Scotstown village on 7th July 2022. The score of 298 reflected an 8 point gain on the marks awarded for 2021.

Community – Your Planning and Involvement / An Pobal – Pleanáil agus Rannpháirtíocht: (38/80 marks awarded)

Fáilte chuig Comórtas Na mBailte Slachtmhara Super Valu don bhliain 2022. Táimid buíoch daoibh as ucht na hiontrála a chur chugainn, agus guimíd gach rath ar bhúr gcuid oibre amach anseo. Adh Mór… Thank you Scotstown Tidy Towns for your entry and supporting material with almost 50 years in the competition – that’s some track record! The committee is a driving force behind development and conservation and making a significant contribution to sustainable living in a rural community. It is great to see that Urbleshanny N.S. and the local GAA is involved in your spring and autumn clean ups. Involving the younger generation in your activities can be very effective way of raising awareness and recruiting large numbers of enthusiastic young helpers! The committee has created a strong network of supporters over the years with returning ex-pats and holiday makers playing their part in activities. Your work in this category reflects well the Global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG,11) ‘Sustainable Cities & Communities’.

Streetscape & Public Places / Sráid-Dreach & Áiteanna Poiblí: (36/80 marks awarded)

The streetscape on show with its elegant green is wonderful, stately mature trees complemented by younger trees, colourful flower displays, attractive street furniture, nicely presented business premises is a joy to report on! Excellent presentation on churches and schools. Sile’s, McCague’s, Moyna’s, Barbers, Henry’s, Cassidy’s & Sons and Pharmacy were admired. Street furniture is important to the townscape and painting is praiseworthy. Well done on the works completed to walls, fencing and grass areas. The village pump forms an attractive feature, and we admired the new planters. Congratulations on your choice of pollinator friendly plants & shrubs (noted horsetail in one so keep under control). The contribution of residents to the streetscape on the main thoroughfare is exemplary. Lots of good practical work has been achieved – credit to Monaghan County Council also.

Green Spaces and Landscaping / Spásanna Glasa agus Tírdhreachú: (38/80 marks awarded)

Scotstown green areas were all beautifully presented during adjudication and flower displays in containers and beds were colourful and contributed to the high visual amenity achieved for the village. The choice of plants is well informed. Congratulations on the planting of Birch along the stream and old graveyard. You are commended on your continued maintenance of footpaths and grass edges as it improves the appearance. The bank on the Tydavnet Road was flourishing with roses and the air was filled with the scent of the philadelphus close to the bridge. The amount of work is appreciated

Nature and Biodiversity in your Locality / An Dúlra agus an Bhithéagsúlacht i do cheantar: (41/55  marks awarded)

With woodlands near to the village plus the River Blackwater, its clear you enjoy a wealth of natural amenities and wildlife habitat on your doorstep. We are pleased to read the community receives the expert knowledge of a local member of Bird Watch Ireland. There help is very welcome. We praise you for retaining the wildflower meadow as these are rich and diverse habitats and we encourage you to continue to manage this important habitat (although you’re a bit disappointed in it). Why not consider carrying out a survey to measure the change in your local biodiversity. I am including a link to a to short video to show you how to do the FIT count: https://videos>> All-IrelandPollinatorPlan(pollinators.ie) and a new app is now available for Ireland that allows you to carry out a FIT Count and upload the results in one go. This would also help to raise awareness of biodiversity levels.

Sustainability – Doing more with less / Inmharthanacht – Mórán ar an mbeagán: (16/55 marks awarded)

Your recent consignment of unwanted clothes for Ukrainian refugees is heartwarming and one that will hopefully be repeated throughout many communities to support humanitarian needs. Further initiatives under this category include recycling and success in food waste. Congratulations to the school children and their teachers for their activities (Sustainable Goal 12 ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’). To earn extra marks, please tell us what your committee is doing to minimize waste generation and encourage sustainable resource use when carrying out your projects. Do you use waste materials (such as timber and wood) as planters etc.? This category is about changing people’s behaviors and attitudes and includes training, workshops, walks & talks (campaigns). Do consult the following for ideas: www.greenhomes.ie and www.sustainableprocessing.ie or the Tidy Towns Handbook.

Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair: (60/90 marks awarded)

Our appreciations are offered to volunteers for their litter picking activities and weed control. The effort involved in a two mile stretch on five approach roads is laudable. The children’s posters competitions are a great way to get the community thinking in a different light and create awareness. Keep up informed of your new initiatives and please include some photographs.

Residential Streets & Housing Areas / Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta: (35/55 marks awarded)

Well done on the completion of the new footpath by Monaghan County Council out the Tydavnet Road to enable safe access between school, park, and home. A connected, safe village is a valuable achievement. You have engaged brilliantly with the council regarding the new estate on the Roslea Road and your proposal of ‘Lui na Greine’ have been accepted as the new name. We applaud your consultation and use of the Irish language.

Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes / Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí: (34/55 marks awarded)

We strongly recommend the removal of ivy from all manmade structures. You have several flower beds which are maintained – well done to all concerned.

Concluding Remarks: Scotstown is a hive of activity with plenty of work in progress. I am delighted to see your continued involvement in this competition and wish all involved every success in the future.