There was a great turnout in Abbeyleix recently to kick off the town's entry in the Entente Florale.
Abbeyleix Tidy Towns are spearheading the town's participation in the EU-backed initiative.
The information evening on February 20 in the Abbeyliex Manor was organised to get people involved in the competition.
“This is a great opportunity for the community of Abbeyleix to showcase our town and we will need everyone's help and support to make a lasting impression,” say the organsiers.
Regular updates will be posted on Facebook to encouarage people to get involved.
An international jury assesses the candidate towns and villages which enter, according to criteria based on the following considerations:
•Quality of landscape and vegetation: seasonal and permanent planting of flowers, trees, shrubs; respect for landscape and landscape policies; promotion of biodiversity and ecologically friendly maintenance and management.
•Quality of natural and built environments including waste management, water management, heritage, quality of streets and buildings and cleanliness. Participation and cooperation by local bodies and organisations. Contribution and role of local statutory authorities.
•Education and schools- ecology and green dimension. Other educational endeavours promoting the aims of the AEFP.
•Attractiveness and presentation - tourism and leisure policy, information and communication to locals and to the public at large - preparation and presentation of the town and village for the actual assessment visit.
The awards are based on overall marks achieved, ranging from bronze, silver or gold plaques
In 2017 two special awards are offered for outstanding achievements in particular areas of the competition: the Chair of the Jury offers a prize for the best Town or Village center, the President of AEFP will give a prize for the best project related to Biodiversity. For more see www.entente-florale.eu/participants-2017/
The other entrants are from: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany,
Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands and Slovenia