Let’s Team Up to Clean Up, Together for Kilkenny

Let’s Team Up to Clean Up, Together for Kilkenny.

The first event will take place in Kilkenny City on the 9th of October 2022

KKB Chairman Pat Boyd launches the Team Up initiative with Mayor David Fitzgerald

KKB supports this Kilkenny Co Co initiative here in our City.   We encourage  all who are able to  register   and Team Up to Clean Up    with Keep Kilkenny Beautiful.

KKB  arrange regular clean ups and other environmental projects, all are welcome to take part.  to contact us  mail@keepkilkennybeautiful.com or  catch us on facebook, alternatively  call or text us, see our website contact page. Click here for our contact page 

you can also register your own residents group  or association at cleanup.kilkenny.ie

We look forward to hearing from you!

KKB Chairman Pat Boyd launches the Team Up initiative with Mayor David Fitzgerald

Kilkenny Cleaner than European Norms in IBAL 2022

Great news for Kilkenny city  and all who are  working to keep Kilkenny beautiful.  Kilkenny has again achieved Cleaner than European Norms in IBAL 2022 round 1.    (Irish Business against Litter).  See our  adjudicators report under.

Congratulations to Naas who have achieved  No. 1 in the current Judging.

 

Kilkenny: 8th out of 40 towns / cities surveyed. Cleaner than European Norms.
Kilkenny is consistently high-ranking and this takes a lot of work on the part of many within the community. All approach roads got the top litter grade, creating a positive first
impression. This high standard was maintained for many of the remaining sites surveyed, including the Train Station (Exterior and Interior), the Riverside Walk and Parliament Street – the latter scored well, despite plenty of activity within.

N712 Paulstown Approach Road: Grade A. This route presented very well, creating a positive first impression of Kilkenny with cycle paths, roadway and adjoining grasslands clear of litter. Kilkenny Train Station – Exterior: Grade A. A very welcoming environment with colourful planting and a virtual absence of litter throughout. The area could be further improved if cigarette butts weren’t allowed to gather at the base of the planted areas.
Kilkenny Train Station – Interior: Grade A. All aspects of the interior of the station were in pristinecondition e.g., seating, signage, litter bins, visitor information notices etc. There was a virtual absence of litter throughout.

Riverside Walk: Grade A. A wonderful riverside environment which is very well presented and maintained. Planted areas were in good order and the overall impression created was a very positive one.
Derelict buildings at ‘The Ring’ beside Rothe House: Grade A. There was a notable
improvement in the overall presentation and litter situation at one of these buildings. A new coat of paint has made a big difference here. This time around, there was minimal litter to be seen.

Recycle Facility at St. Canice’s; Grade B. Casually discarded litter / items associated with recycling took away from an otherwise freshly presented ‘Bring Facility’. This could easily be top ranking with a little extra care and attention.
Friary Bridge, by City Walls: Grade B. The most obvious litter items were sweet papers and plastic bags with lower levels of fast-food wrappers and cigarette butts.

Parliament Street: Grade A. This busy shopping street has scored very well with regard to litter. it is well served by litter bins and the overall presentation was a very good one.

Bennetsbridge Approach Road: Grade A. There was a complete absence of litter along the stretch of road surveyed. Grass boundaries had been carefully mown. It was an excellent site,overall.

Durrow Approach Road: Grade A. As with the other approach roads into Kilkenny, this was verymuch deserving of the top litter grade. It was well presented and immaculate throughout.

 

St Patrick’s Historic graveyard gets clean up

Thanks to all the volunteers who came out  to clean up st Patrick’s historic graveyard. the works included trimming back bushes  and weeding the gravel path that meanders through the graveyard.  the NIAH notes  “A picturesque graveyard containing a collection of markers of artistic design significance exhibiting high quality stone masonry. A number of markers dating to the late seventeenth century represent an important element of the archaeological heritage of Kilkenny while serving as a reminder of the mass house, later a Catholic chapel that existed on site until the late eighteenth century”

For  further information on the many historic grave stones within the grave yard see link- click here Kilkenny Archaeological society

Kilkenny City continues to be clean to European norms

Kilkenny continues to be  clean to European norms having been placed 6th  in the current IBAL survey published in October 2021. Since the receipt of the results KKB volunteers have been out in sunny weather  undertaking additional work in areas mentioned as requiring attention  in the report. Congratulations to all for keeping Kilkenny Beautiful.

 

An Taisce Report – IBAL Anti-Litter League, Round 1, 2021

 

Kilkenny: 6th out of 40 towns / cities surveyed. Cleaner than European Norms.

Kilkenny retains its perennial status as Cleaner than European Norms. As we have come to expect, there were no heavily littered sites. Kilkenny Train Station (Exterior and Interior) wasn’t just good with regard to litter but was very well presented and maintained – it is clearly a place of great pride, based on the various plaques / awards hanging on the wall. Other top-ranking sites of note included the River Bank, Parliament Street and Market Cross Shopping Centre. The latter was particularly well presented and maintained with the opportunity for ‘separating’ waste, attractive seating, planting and some welcoming features along the pedestrian entrance.

R712 Paulstown Approach Road: Grade A. This heavily trafficked route presented very well and there were no visible litter issues. It created a positive first impression of the town and this high standard was maintained for many of the remaining sites surveyed.

Site of ‘Tubs & Tiles’ on corner of R712: Grade B. There is no doubt that the overall presentation of this environment has improved compared to a few years ago. The wooden planter boxes around the edge looked well. The area over the low wall, which was heavily weeded within, harboured some food related items. The blue overflowing litter bin is liable to produce more litter if not addressed.

Kilkenny Train Station – Exterior: Grade A. An exceptionally well presented and maintained train station environment with all aspects in very good order. There was a complete absence of litter throughout the area surveyed.

Kilkenny Train Station – Interior: Grade A. The interior of the station was gleaming and there is clearly great pride in the station based on the various plaques / awards hanging on the wall. Seating, bins, signage were in excellent condition.

Derelict building, beside Rothe House: Grade B. This white building, with three steps and a white railing presents very poorly. While there was minimal litter in the immediate vicinity, it needs attention, especially as some parts were likely to fall down.

Bring Centre (St. Canice’s car Park): Grade B. One of the bin units was in a bad condition, the base of it was broken, the contents of which were falling out. Broken glass on the ground and other miscellaneous litter items in the immediate vicinity of the facility also brought down the litter grade.

Market Cross Shopping Centre: Grade A. The pedestrian passage-way has been colourfully adorned with an array of umbrellas above, almost sculpture like. Paving was fresh, shop fronts were in very good condition, seating and planting were in good order. Patrons have the opportunity to ‘separate’ their waste with a substantial cigarette butt collection unit to the side. The overall impression was a very positive one in terms of presentation and litter.

Parliament Street: Grade A. There was a virtual absence of litter along this busy shopping street. A well presented and cared for town centre environment.

River Bank: Grade A. This lovely waterside environment was an exceptionally well presented and maintained environment. Railings, grass, flowering arrangements were in very good condition – the whole area was spotless throughout.

Waterford Approach Road: Grade A. All appeared in good order along this route. Road surface, markings and signage were in very good condition.

Submission to Kilkenny Development plan 2021-2027

Submission of Keep Kilkenny Beautiful to the Kilkenny Draft Kilkenny City Development Plan – March 2021

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Since its inception over 40 years ago, Keep Kilkenny Beautiful’s core objective has always been the creation, maintenance and continual improvement of a clean and healthy environment for the enjoyment of all of Kilkenny’s citizens and visitors. We see this as a vital social service in today’s society, as the health and sustainability of our environment has a direct impact on the quality of life, physical and mental health of those who live here. Keep Kilkenny Beautiful (KKB) has played a leading and integral role in ensuring that Kilkenny continues to be a beautiful and healthy place to live in and to visit. In close partnership with Kilkenny County Council and Kilkenny’s communities, we have helped to maintain litter free streets, rivers, residential areas and approach roads. Formal landscape presentations, colourful raised beds, hanging baskets, floral presentations and well-presented buildings have added colour and beauty and have helped Kilkenny win many Tidy Towns Awards – and most recently our unprecedented 5th IBAL Tidy Towns Award. Keeping Kilkenny Beautiful is now an important part of our heritage and of our culture.

Keep Kilkenny Beautiful is conscious of the urgency of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those pertaining to good health, climate action and also biodiversity loss. We urge the County Council to make the decisions now that will enable us to achieve these goals by 2030. We make this submission with particular emphasis on the specific goals of:

SDG.3.Good Health.

 SDG 6 – Clean Water;

 SDG.7.Affordable and Clean Energy.

 SDG 10 – Reduced Inequality;

 SDG 11- Sustainable Cities and Communities;

 SDG.12 – Responsible Consumption.

SDG 13 – Climate Action;

SDG 14 – Life Below Water;

SGD 15 – Life on Land;

SDG 17 – Partnerships to achieve the Goal.

We believe that at this critical point, any Local Authority Development Plan should be developed and designed to ensure that at County, City and local levels we maximise our contribution to achieving SDG Goals. In this context we offer this submission for consideration, which we believe to be important in creating a sustainable and inclusive future for all of Kilkenny’s citizens.

Climate Change Mitigation

Keep Kilkenny Beautiful proposes that:

  • The Kilkenny Tree Cover Master Cover Plan, initiated in 2020 by Keep Kilkenny Beautiful, Kilkenny City Area Office and Kilkenny Parks Department, be integrated into a Kilkenny City and County Tree Management Strategy as part of Kilkenny County Council’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to combat and mitigate against climate change, also fulfilling the Nature Based Solution Actions 9 & 10 in the Kilkenny Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2019.
  • That Kilkenny County Council would collaborate with Keep Kilkenny Beautiful in an annual Biodiversity and Tree Planting Challenge in partnership with the 32 County Tree

Planting Charity, Trees in the Land; The National Tree Council; and other landowners and community stakeholders in the planting of specific numbers of trees and hedgerows, which we propose should be at least 8000 trees per year – which equals to a mile of hedgerow.

  • That Kilkenny County Council would seek to identify and acquire additional suitable land for continued tree planting in the future, given the importance of such in mitigating climate change, and would seek to involve Kilkenny communities in this activity.
  • That trees and hedgerows be planted where possible in the Market Yard and St Mary’s Car Park as per the objectives of the Climate Change 2019 Adaptation Strategy.
  • That native tree and hedgerow planting be used in and around all new housing developments and avoid the use of Laurel, a non-native and invasive tree.
  • That the principles of Net Biodiversity Gain be adopted as a condition of all future infrastructure and housing development.
  • That a Municipal bio-digester be constructed as a priority within or close to the city to produce sustainable energy and also to produce quality peat-free horticultural compost.
  • That the responsible and sustainable production and use of renewable energy be prioritised.

Biodiversity and the Pollinator Plan

That Kilkenny County Council would devise and implement Local Area Biodiversity Action Plans in line with the Kilkenny Tree Cover Master Plan.

That Kilkenny County Council would follow the lead taken by other County Councils and commit to increasing their actioning of the National Pollinator Plan through the following:

  • To commit to changing the grass management regime on council-owned land through procuring the equipment or services that will allow this land to be better managed for biodiversity, recognising that current grass management services are not appropriate for this task. This will increase ecological connectivity, contribute towards biodiversity net gain and increase the natural capital value of our publicly-owned land, as well as decreasing carbon dioxide emissions from the reduction in grass cutting.
  • To increase the use of wild flower meadows on public lands, road verges and roundabouts.
  • To select planting schemes that are pollinator-friendly and sustainable – eg choosing perennials and grasses that will have year-long interest rather than seasonal annuals.
  • To commit to reduction and phasing out of pesticides with the exception of dealing with aggressive invasive species.
  • To promulgate the pollinator plan among council staff and offer Continuous Professional Development training in biodiversity.
  • To commit to delaying grass cutting on council owned land (other than sporting pitches) until the middle of April at the earliest.
  • To support and develop the Invasive Species programme currently being implemented by KKB with the assistance of Nore Vision and under the direction and guidance of the Parks Department and NPWS.
  • To seek to enter Council-owned park areas into the Green Flag for Parks Pollinator Award.

That Kilkenny County Council would recognise and further develop the many societal and health benefits of increasing citizen participation, learning and understanding in biodiversity, nature and growing food through the following:

  • Creation of allotment provision in all 4 quarters of the City and the city centre, and encouragement of citizens through provision of community training opportunities in pollinator-friendly and sustainable gardening.
  • Scoping and development of community compost hubs.
  • Provision of area leaf dumps for composting leaves into mulch.
  • Scoping the development of a Centre dedicated to teaching Grow-Your-Own sustainable gardening and healthy eating and living within the City environs (comparable to Grow HQ in Waterford)
  • Support/facilitation of the creation of Outdoor Classrooms to ensure that understanding and access to nature are accessible to all citizens of Kilkenny.

Natural Habitats –  Newpark Fen

 

That Kilkenny County Council, in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, NGOs and appropriate community organisations, would explore an expanded conservation management plan for the Newpark Fen and explore the potential to incorporate the wet woodlands owned by Kilkenny College, with the aim of making the whole complex available to the public, initially for education purposes.

That Kilkenny County Council would explore the possibility of full public access to the whole site using the DAFM Neighbourhood funding scheme to expand the site and to procure the adjacent field at the north-east Corner for community tree planting.

 

Natural Habitats – River Nore

The River Nore is possibly Kilkenny’s most under-utilised natural asset. Sensitive development for recreational use is also a means of ensuring good water quality. It increases our attractiveness as a visitor destination and it promotes healthy citizenship. We ask that the following be considered:

  • Development of a Boat House and Jetty as a river amenity resource within the city.
  • Provision of additional boat slips offering controlled boat and kayak access
  • Provision of a white water and slalom kayaking amenity at Lacken Weir.
  • Opening up vistas of the river from the Bishops Meadows Linear Park in line with local residents wishes and provision of resting benches at these points where the river can be viewed and heard.

Natural Habitats – Rivers Bregagh and Pococke

The water quality of rivers Breagagh and Pococke has deteriorated considerably in recent years and urgently needs to be addressed. We ask that the following be considered:

  • That Kilkenny County Council establish Local River conservation groups with partners KKB, LAWPRO, NPWS, Nore Vision or River Trust and relevant land owners to proactively pursue and implement measures to restore Good Ecological Status.
  • That the restoration of Good Ecological Status be an imperative condition to be achieved prior to commencement of any riversite-associated residential development which would ensure quality natural and recreational amenities going forward.
  • That appropriate access to and from the rivers Bregagh and Pococke be developed.
  • That the feasibility of a Pocock riverside walkway from the Sion Rd to the Johnswell rd roundabout be explored for development.
  • That a survey and installation of attenuation ponds be undertaken to intercept runoff and silt running from the Ring Rd into the River Pococke currently causing ecological deterioration in that river.

Sustainable infrastructure

Transport

In order to ensure that Kilkenny is a city that is focused on the wellbeing, health and safety of its inhabitants into the future, we ask that Kilkenny County Council would follow the evidence-based international best practice of reducing car use and prioritising more sustainable forms of transport including the following:

  • Provision of more pedestrianised zones in the City Centre’s main shopping area and particularly in the Medieval core.
  • Provision of car-free zones at entry and exit points from all schools and amend parking bye laws appropriately.
  • Provision of more dedicated cycle lanes.
  • Provision of contraflow cycle lanes in one-way streets
  • Provision of adequate bicycle parking stands in all areas
  • Provision of more park and ride/cycle facilities at the outskirts of the city .
  • Creation of new cross-river cycle and pedestrian links.
  • Increase of electric Vehicle recharging points.
  • Scoping out the provision of pedestrian access along the eastern bank of the river from Greensbridge to Talbots Inch.

Sustainable tourism

In order to ensure that we remain an attractive visitor destination as well as a clean and healthy place for our citizens, we ask that Kilkenny County Council would address some of the principal causes of littering and waste to mitigate their effects on our environment, and consider the following:

  • To support, develop and promote festivals and markets with zero waste outcomes in Kilkenny.
  • To introduce composting bins in public areas where compostable food containers are used (particularly the Parade) as otherwise these containers go into landfill.
  • To adopt in principle that food packaging is a major cause of litter and waste, and to restrict provision and promotion of fast food containers and encourage provision of package-free food and sustainable alternatives at public festivals and events.
  • To provide more segregated recycling centres and incentivise aluminium and glass recycling.
  • To provide drinking fountains in the City which cuts down on plastic use.
  • To include tree planting and maximum biodiversity gain as an integral part of good street design.
  • To enforce current by-laws regarding dog fouling.
  • To consider the introduction of new dog fouling byelaws using DNA technology to identify dog owners who do not clean up.

Keep Kilkenny Beautiful

 

Kilkenny City tops IBAL for a record 5th time!

Keep Kilkenny Beautiful are very pleased with  announcement that for a record fifth time we’ve achieved No.1 in Ireland in the Ibal litter survey (Irish business against litter).

Praising Kilkenny in its report, An Taisce commented: “There is surely a lesson in this result for other towns – while the majority of towns have deteriorated during Covid, Kilkenny has been maintained in pristine condition.”  The High Street, River Nore Walk  and grounds of Kilkenny Castle were all “excellent with regard to not just litter, but overall presentation”. 

Congratulations to Kilkenny county council staff, local businesses,  community groups, resident associations and all our Keep Kilkenny Beautiful volunteers who have continued to work  under difficult conditions to keep Kilkenny beautiful.

Kilkenny:  1st out of 37 towns / cities surveyed.  Cleaner than European Norms. 

 

There is surely a lesson in this result for other towns – while the majority of towns have deteriorated during Covid, Kilkenny has been maintained in pristine condition.  All approach routes were top ranking and created a positive first impression of the town – this high standard was sustained for almost all of the remaining sites and there were no seriously littered sites.  With so many top-rankingsites, special mention.  High Street, Upper and Lower John Street, River Nore River Walk (behind Kilkenny Castle) and the grounds of Kilkenny Castle Park – all were excellent with regard to not just litter, but overall presentation and maintenance. 

R712 Dublin Road Approach:  Grade A.  Cycle / pedestrian paths were in good order and the overall impression created along this road was a very good one, creating a positive first impression of Kilkenny – this very high standard was maintained for almost all of the remaining sites surveyed.

Upper and Lower John Street:  Grade A.  A long stretch of shopping street which scored very well with regard to litter.  Newly laid road surface created a very fresh impression.  Clearly a close eye is kept on the derelict / closed down premises as there was no litter directly associated with them.  Some shop fronts were attractively presented, really adding to the streetscape e.g., Billy Byrnes, Langton’s and an ‘olde’ style food deli.

Kilkenny Castle Park:  Grade A.An expansive area – such a wonderful resource – beautifully managed with a complete absence of litter throughout. All aspects of the area surveyed were in very good condition e.g., playground, seating, signage.

River Nore:  Grade A.Area surveyed was from John Bridge, along the pedestrian route to the rear of Kilkenny Castle.  The attractively laid out area at the beginning of this walk was very fresh in appearance with sculpture, items of historical interest, seating, bins etc. – all in excellent order.  There was a complete absence of litter on this long stretch of riverwalk – a credit to the users.

High Street:  Grade A.A lovely streetscape, excellent with regard to litter and all aspects of the area surveyed in very good conditione.g., paving, seating, planting, visitor information notices, street bins etc.  The individual shop fronts were very well presented with very few closed down / vacant outlets, compared to other towns / cities throughout the country.

Market Yard Car Park:  Grade B+.An extensive street level car park, mostly good with regard to litter, but some items were impossible to ignore e.g., face masks, plastic gloves and some loose food related litter e.g., cans, plastic bottles.

Bring Centre at St. Canice’s:  Grade A.A small facility, all aspects in very good condition and no litter associated with it.  Signage was clear, legible and in good order.

Kilkenny Ring Road:  Grade A.  (From garage at Dean Street to Castlecomer New Road)  The built environment was in excellent order and the grass area was in good condition – there was no visible litter along this expansive stretch of road.

Ormonde Retail Park:  Grade B+.Plastic wrapping was the most obvious item with some food related litter (e.g., plastic bottles and coffee cups) in the low-lying shrubbery.  Not much effort is required for this to be a top-ranking site.

Carlow – Kilkenny Link Road:  Grade A.An excellent route in both directions, in terms of both presentation and litter.