Shanahoe’s small committee improved their score by 8 marks this year, up to 227.
Judges praised their links with the council, FAS and the school, suggesting they enlist more help from local clubs.
The school and community hall were looking very well and freshly painted on judging day, and a traditional building beside the garage was admired.
The judge suggested restoration of a derelict cottage mentioned by the committee. Plans to grow a wildlife area at the site were “exciting”.
Landscaping and litter control scored very highly. The many flower beds were admired for their natural stone and wide range of plants. Planting of trees on the approach road from Borris in Ossory was praised, as was weekly litter picking and participation in Clean Up week.
A woodland habitat project was suggested, and the new bird boxes in the schoolyard were praised. Waste minimisation projects such as composting, harvesting rainwater and growing plants were recommended.
Weeds were under control and roadsides swept in the village. However disappointment was expressed that the pump was “in very poor condition and badly in need of paint”. The planters near it were empty on judging day, and stone landscaped beds were “full of weeds”. Sign poles needed repainting, as did the school gates and church gates. A flower bed at the church car park was neglected.
The approach roads were generally attractive and tidy, and flooding problems in the village centre were observed first hand on judging day. Road signs needed attention, including the village name sign on the Castletown road.
Individual houses had a generally good appearance and a high standard of presentation. Overall it was “an impressive performance”.