Swords Biodiversity Assessment Report

In February 2020, Swords Tidy Towns had commissioned a combined Biodiversity Management Plan and Point Source Investigative Assessment of the Ward and Broadmeadow Rivers running through Swords. The goal of this investigation was to have a record of the wildlife in and surrounding the rivers running through Swords; get recommendations on how to manage and enhance biodiversity in the area; to learn of the sources of pollution flowing into the rivers in Swords, and to receive recommendations of possible mitigating actions.

River Ward Clean-up 2021

On Saturday 15th of May we had our annual river clean-up. Despite the light rain in the morning we had a fantastic turnout. We had four teams deployed at different locations – two people in the water and two on the banks of River Ward in each team. We had volunteers joining us from other local groups including “Swords Pickers”, “Lions Club Swords and David Dodd from Climate Action Regional Office. Due this phenomenal community support we had managed to cover a very extensive length of our river. Our thanks as always goes to Fingal County Council Operations team for a very prompt removal of all the rubbish pulled out from the river.

WaterBlitz Event

“A WaterBlitz is a FreshWater Watch activity for the whole community. Usually hosted over one weekend, members of the public can sign up to receive a free water testing kit and become citizen scientists by testing a water body local to them. The data collected by hundreds of people over this same time period gives us an accurate and comparable snapshot of water health within a region.” (FreshWater Watch, 2021)

This year WaterBlitz event was held on the 7th-10th of May, 2021 in Thames Valley, Dublin, Paris and Luxembourg. Dublin event was coordinated by the DCU Water Institute.

Swords Tidy Towns took a chance to participate in this Citizen Science initiative. Four teams have been organised to test five different locations of our local River Ward. It has been a very fun and educational experience for our volunteers, and we’re hoping to continue our participation in WaterBlitz events in the years to come.

The Litter Slob

Enjoy the newest poem by our Swords Tidy Towns Chairperson and take a look at our new poster designed to tackle the problem of discarded face masks around the town.

The Litter Slob
By Ken Duffy
Have you seen the litter, left by litter slobs
No respect for others, environmental yobs
Baskets hanging, with a multitude of colour
Planters on Streets, they couldn't be fuller
Countrywide, Tidy Towns do what they can
Out in all weather, are this volunteer clan
In Hi-Vis, they sweep, crop and clean
In towns and villages, efforts can be seen
Asking for nothing, they toil each day
Picking up rubbish, keeping weeds at bay
Graffiti nationwide, has gotten out of hand
Adds to the workload, of this working band
Never losing heart, continuing with a smile
No matter how high, our rubbish does pile
If you see them out, say doing a great job
Good luck in the battle, against the litter slob

Tree Art Competition

To celebrate the National Tree Week 2021, Swords Tidy Towns in collaboration with Swords Woodland Association had organised a tree art competition for the local children.

The competition has been a huge success and we were overwhelmed with the amount of entries received. Our thanks goes to everyone who entered and a special thank you to our three judges – it was not an easy task. You can see and admire the winning entries in the galleries below.

In the 6-12 years age group, the judges have also decided to award two merit awards. 1st Prize Sarah Onwuegbusi – 100 Euro voucher, 2nd Prize M. Rashim Bangash – 50 Euro voucher, 3rd Prize Amelia Ciurylo – 25 Euro voucher. Merit Award Aria Kelly – 20 Euro voucher, Merit Award Amy Wembridge – 20 Euro voucher.

Here are the wining entries of the Tree art competition in the 13-18 year old age group. 1st Prize Jessica Geraghty – 100 Euro voucher, 2nd Prize Adam Hezam – 50 Euro voucher, and 3rd Prize Eve McMahon – 25 Euro voucher.

Everyone who entered had received this beautiful a poster from the Swords Woodlands Association.

Swords Tidy Towns are runners up in Pride of Place Awards

Swords Tidy Towns are very happy to announce they have been successful in their Pride of Place entry endeavour. We are All Ireland Runners Up in the over 5000 population Category in the 2020 National Pride of Place competition. Considering the National Tidy Towns Competition was cancelled this year, this is a fantastic bonus for the Swords Tidy Towns volunteers who are delighted with our achievements. We wish to extend our thanks to Fingal County Council’s management and staff for all their help and hard work and support over the year.

Read more on Fingal County Council’s website: Great Success for Swords Tidy Towns in Pride of Place Awards

Rafe Costigan (Fingal County Council) presenting Swords Tidy Towns with their Pride of Place runners up trophy

Green Flag Award for Swords Tidy Towns

Swords Tidy Towns have been awarded a Community Green Flag for their Rock Garden Project on the Rathbeale Road.

The project took seed when our Chairperson Ken Duffy approached the head of Fingal County Council Operations Department Colm Rigney with the idea of converting the old derelict playground into a community space. Our Chairperson was told if he got permission from the houses in the immediate area for the project that it would be a runner. To this end our Chairperson and Secretary Teresa Cosgrave called to each house to garnish support for the project, it was given overwhelming support from the residence. The playground was once a Local Rock Quarry that closed in the 1940’s, it was then converted into a playground for the local children, but fell into disrepair in the 1980’s.

STT worked very closely with FCC throughout the whole process in particular with the Operations Dept, there was great cooperation and collaboration. FCC also worked closely with two of our members Matt Cullen and Mary Maxwell on the design of the Rock Garden, their design contributions and suggestions were very much taken on board and incorporated into the final design by FCC.

It is the first time a Green Flag has been awarded in Fingal for a Community Project which makes the award that much more special to our dedicated volunteers. We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to FCC from the top down for their unwavering support of this project. In particular a special mention must be given to the wonderful crew of the Operations Dept whose hard work helped to create this wonderful amenity.

Watch the shortened version of Green Flag Awards video including the interview with our Chairperson Ken Duffy below: