St. Augustine’s College helping local community to reduce single use plastic

Secondary schools in Waterford got behind National Reuse Month’s campaign to get more people reusing and recycling.

As part of the national campaign throughout October, people were encouraged to reuse more in every aspect of daily life.  There were initiatives for everyone this year, from how to encourage reuse, and cut out disposable plastics at sports club or school, to upcycling everything from fashion to furniture.

Schools learned about the benefits of refilling a reusable bottle with water versus using a single use water bottle and disposing of it.  The online workshop was held by Waterford City and County Council and then the students of St. Augustine’s College, Dungarvan took action in their community by encouraging local businesses to offer water refills and register to appear on Refill.ie’s Tap Map, a site which shows all the locations in Ireland where a free water refill is available.

Speaking at St. Augustine’s College in Dungarvan, Deputy Mayor Cllr Seanie Power said, “This is a great campaign for communities up and down the county to get involved in and to take action against plastics, thus preventing waste and acting against climate change. This competition has united communities in a common goal to responsibly refill a reusable bottle and continue to contribute to the positive results the campaign has seen to date.”

Ella Ryan, Environmental Awareness Officer with Waterford City & County Council added, “Schools across the county have done tremendous work for this competition.”

“This campaign has highlighted the benefits of refilling and reusing, not just within the school but across the wider community. We were delighted to receive LAPN funding from the EPA to run this competition. I would encourage everyone to look at the Tap Map on Refill.ie to check where their local refill points are located.”

Congratulations to the St. Augustine’s Transition Year students and TY Coordinator Margo McGann for driving the project in the school.

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Waterford Retailers can Go Green and save money due to Retail Ireland and Irish Water partnership

Irish Water has partnered with Retail Ireland, to offer its members the opportunity to improve their green credentials with bespoke training on how to reduce their water consumption while also driving down operating costs for their businesses.

Irish Water’s specialised training for the retail sector provides staff and owners with the knowledge and expertise to lower water consumption and reduce costs while protecting the environment. Small changes such as identifying water being wasted on site, setting a baseline for water use to understand what is normal or average use, raising awareness amongst staff and customers or upgrading to water efficient devices can all help to reduce water use and save money.

The programme is the first of its kind in Ireland and is fully supported by Ibec, Chambers Ireland, SEAI, Origin Green, BIM and Enterprise Ireland.

Arnold Dillon, Retail Ireland Director is encouraging member businesses to sign up for this invaluable training: “A range of retailers have already completed Irish Water’s Water Stewardship Programme and the feedback has been incredibly positive. They’ve taken a range of new tips, tools and information from the course and transferred them into tangible results, saving water and money for their businesses.”

Ken Stockil, Central Solutions (Irish Water programme delivery partner) added: “The award winning Certified Water Stewardship Programme from Irish Water and the Lean & Green Skillnet, provides world class support to enterprises seeking to reduce their water use and strengthen their environmental credentials through verifiable action. This online training allows businesses to participate at a time that suits their busy schedules and will help their employees and customers make conscious decisions about water consumption that will benefit everyone.”

Retailers interested in getting involved in this free training are asked to register before December 15 at www.water.ie/stewardship.

Christine Crawford, Irish Water added: “Sustainability is a top priority for Irish retailers. Irish Water’s Certified Water Stewardship Programme supports retailers to move to more environmentally responsible water management practices. The programme is providing international best practice training to support businesses to use water sustainably, in a way that benefits people and nature.

“While retailers are the focus today Irish Water has developed three steps to support all businesses to move to more sustainable water management. We would encourage all businesses to start the water conservation journey and go green, the first step is the Water Conservation Pledge which only takes minutes to complete. This is followed by free online Water Conservation Training, and finally business representatives can enrol and become a Certified Water Steward.”

The programme is funded by Irish Water and the Lean & Green Skillnet with the support of Skillnet Ireland and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. It gives participating businesses the tools to save water and money by providing them with the knowledge and skills to reduce water consumption and operating costs. Participants will learn the key principles of water stewardship and the actions required to improve environmental performance.

Retail businesses can access bespoke water conservation tips for the retail industry at www.water.ie/retail and sign up to the Water Stewardship Programme with Retail Ireland at water.ie/stewardship

Ends

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New Suir River walk opens to public

With construction complete on the enhanced Suir River Walk, the newly extended pathway from Maypark Village to Cove Lane was opened to the public this week.

Improvements to the 3km of woodland trail included the widening of paths, realigning of the path to avoid mature trees, the installation of culverts, fencing, and a new entrance was created at Cove Lane, while the entrance at King’s Channel was improved.

Overall, the works have improved access to the trail, and made it more accessible to a wide range of users.

Fergus Galvin, Director of Services, Waterford City and County Council said that the improvements will undoubtedly make the trail even more appealing.  “It was a somewhat well kept secret amongst those in the vicinity.  While the infrastructure was already there with a path from the Kings Channel entrance right through to Freshfield, these works have greatly enhanced the trail, and extended it a further 500 metres to Cove Lane.”

“Since the closure of the Snowcream site, Waterford City and County Council has agreed to purchase the site which includes Goff Woods from Glanbia.  The natural woodland area on the banks of the Suir has been inaccessible for many years and this trail which was developed under licence from Glanbia will enable the public to enjoy the woodland again.”

“Our ultimate ambition would be to extend the pathway all the way into the heart of the city centre creating a continuous 4.3km long path from Ballinakill to Georges Quay and we will be developing plans during 2022 to achieve this.”

The walkway is bounded by the River Suir to the north and sloping woodlands to the south.  With intriguing glimpses of the River Suir, careful consideration has been given to the preservation of the indigenous woodland, which comprises of oak, yew, holly, beech and ash trees.  The new pathway that runs the length of the trail is littered with fallen leaves to give a slightly yielding surface, which is perfect for walkers and runners.

Waterford City & County Mayor Cllr. Joe Kelly acknowledged that enhanced pathway is a welcome addition.  “This original walkway was of huge benefit to those from the area, however with the improvements and extension it is will be an amenity that can be enjoyed by many more.”

“It is a wonderful addition and the improvements to the surfacing will make it a viable option for walkers, joggers and families wishing to enjoy the outdoors”.

The works were completed in 2021, after Waterford City & County Council received funding from the National Transport Authority under the July Jobs Stimulus Plan for the development of Cycling and Walking Projects.

The funding is designed to support local authorities’ response to Covid-19 challenges and assist with their work to equip local communities and businesses with improved walking and cycling infrastructure.  Three sections of the Suir River Walk were completed by three local contractors, Liam Whelan Plant Hire, Richard Forristal Ltd and Mallwood Ltd, with expenditure totalling €366,000 in 2020-2021.

-ENDS

Free to use images:  David Murphy

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ACT Waterford call for creatives

Pictured with artist Aga Krym are Lismore Tidy Towns and Waterford Slí are Mary O’Brien, Rose O’Dowd, David Keane, Sarah Keane, Nora O’Connor, BrÍd Nowlan and Shelia Roche at Lismore. Picture: Patrick Browne

ACT Waterford seeks creatives for a project which brings together five different communities in Waterford City and County to engage with themes of climate change: transport, domestic energy, rural environment, green spaces and consumption aligning with WCCC’s aim to make Waterford City a decarbonised zone by 2040.

This is an interdisciplinary project which brings together Waterford City and County Council (WCCC) and Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) in an exciting project funded by Creative Ireland Climate Action fund.

More via www.calmast.ie/act-waterford-call-for-creatives/

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Works commence on world-class visitor experience at Mount Congreve

In 2019, Waterford City and County Council and Fáilte Ireland, as joint funding partners, were awarded grant funding of €3,726,000 for the development of Mount Congreve House and Gardens, under the Rural Regeneration & Development Fund (RRDF) and Project Ireland 2040.

With building contractors Ormonde Construction now on site, works have commenced to develop Mount Congreve, which is home to one of the largest private collections of plants in the world, as a world-class tourist destination.

The works will involve the partial redevelopment and restoration of the Mount Congreve House and will provide enhanced visitor amenities including a new visitor centre, with cafe and retail spaces.

Michael Walsh, Chief Executive Waterford City and County Council said that the investment in Mount Congreve House and Gardens will consolidate its position as one of ‘the great gardens of the world.’

“Not only will the works enhance the house and grounds, it will deliver a world-class visitor centre in the heart of the South East.”

Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Kelly added, “This major re-development project will also open up the heretofore private areas of the house to the public, which is sure to offer a fascinating insight into the history of Mount Congreve.”

It is intended that on completion, the project will deliver a tourism destination that will attract 150,000 visitors annually, an enhanced visitor experience to the gardens and planted woodlands, which are of international importance, investment in the underdeveloped assets on the Estate to generate additional employment and revenue opportunities, along with increased visitor numbers, and ensure the long-term viability of this enormously important visitor attraction.

Mount Congreve Estate Manager Ray Sinnott said, “It’s a great development for the house and the gardens.  The beauty of Mount Congreve is that it has a broad appeal to everyone, whether it’s gardeners, historians, tourists or our friends and neighbours.  This development will throw open the gates of the estate to over 150,000 visitors each year and allow them to get a sense of the history of the house and the care and attention that has gone into the gardens.”

Orla Carroll, Director Product Development at Fáilte Ireland commented, “Fáilte Ireland is pleased to see work commence on this exciting development to open the beautiful Mount Congreve House and Gardens to the World. The project will create a new, vibrant attraction in Waterford for families and overseas visitors and will reinforce Ireland’s Ancient East as a world-class visitor destination.”

The works to Mount Congreve House are expected to last until summer 2022.

Posted in Departmental Press Release, Tourism | Leave a comment

Road Safety Alert – Weather Warning for Hail Showers

 

Road Safety Alert – Weather Warning for Hail Showers

 

Tuesday 30 November 2021. The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising drivers to be aware of the dangers posed by hailstones. The advice comes as Met Eireann has forecast wintery showers of hail over the coming days and into the weekend.

Hail is a common but unpredictable occurrence in Ireland and can lead to slippery and dangerous driving conditions. This is especially true on higher speed roads like dual carriageways or motorways.

 

The difficulty with hail showers is their unpredictability and localised nature.  As a hail shower tracks across the country it deposits a narrow band of ball bearing sized hailstones on the ground.  Where the track of a shower crosses a road, drivers may suddenly pass from perfectly good road conditions onto a carpet of hailstones. This has the potential to catch drivers out if they do not immediately react to the hazardous driving conditions.

 

The RSA has the following practical advice for drivers:

  • Drivers need to be on guard to the potential danger posed by hailstones.
  • If you encounter hailstones reduce your speed, without breaking if possible. Warn other drivers by using your hazard warning lights.
  • Driving slowly in a high gear will help your tyres maintain grip even as your tyres move over the compacted pellets of ice.
  • Accelerate and brake very gently and drive slowly on bends where loss of control is more likely. Avoid sudden steering movements or hard braking.
  • Keep an eye out for road markings that may become obscured and leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front.

Drivers are also advised to make sure their tyres are fit for purpose i.e., that they are not below the legal minimum tread depth (1.6mm) and that they are inflated to the correct pressure, so they can cope better with such challenging driving conditions.

 

Checking forecasts and listening to travel bulletins before and during your journey will alert you of any possible hail showers.

 

For more information see the public information video on driving in hailstones, developed by the RSA featuring RTE’s Teresa Mannion.

 

For advice on severe weather driving tips and weather updates, please see severe weather advice on the RSA website or check out the RSA Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

For weather updates visit Met Eireann’s website www.met.ie

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Funding Boost For Waterford’s Outdoors Amenities

Waterford City and County Council was successful in securing €562,140 in funding under the 2021 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), Measure 2 and 3 which was recently announced by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D.

copper_coast_waterford

The announcement which has committed funding support of €15.5 million for 84 outdoor adventure projects nationwide, is a key part of ‘Our Rural Future’ which will support rural economies and make rural Ireland a more attractive destination for adventure tourism in the coming years.  The funding scheme which is also supported by Fáilte Ireland at National level provides funding to Local Authorities for the development, promotion and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways, and blueways.

Announcing the funding Minister Humphreys said, “The 84 projects that we are investing in today will benefit people of all ages and abilities for generations to come. This unprecedented investment will also help further our ambition to support our rural economies and make Rural Ireland a destination of choice for adventure tourism. Outdoor pursuits have become an even bigger part of all of our lives over the past two years. Through this Fund, we are developing and enhancing the fantastic natural amenities in our rural communities so more and more people can access and enjoy them.”

Under this latest round of ORIS funding the Waterford projects which will benefit include:

  • Development of Crough Wood Trailhead, Amenities and Car Park, Mahon Bridge, Co. Waterford – €365,328.30
  • Kilmacthomas River Walk Enhancement Works – €69,930.00
  • Waterford Trails and Outdoor Amenities: Visitor and Footfall Counting Project – €76,885.44
  • A separate ‘Project Development’ funding stream was also made available to projects that are at an early stage of appraisal. Waterford was awarded funding for feasibility and preliminary design of a Copper Coast Walking Trail under this category – €50,000.00

This latest funding announcement is in addition to Measure 1 ORIS funding of €57,370 which was announced back in October of this year.

Welcoming the announcement Mayor of Waterford City and County Council, Cllr. Joe Kelly was delighted to see more funding from central government.

 

“This funding not only benefits our wonderful outdoor amenities here in Waterford, but also our local communities and rural economy.  Funding support in recent years to similar projects has served to further enhance Waterford’s reputation as a wonderful location for outdoor pursuits and I have no doubt that this latest funding announcement will prove equally successful.  The importance of investment in developing and maintaining our superb outdoor activity infrastructure cannot be overstated as it enhances our sustainable tourism offering and brings undeniable benefits in terms of the health and well being to our local communities, particularly at this current time.”

ORIS has funded 35 outdoor recreation projects all across Waterford since 2017 which equates to funding support of €1,893,726 being allocated to Waterford City & County Council.  It is envisaged that projects funded under the scheme will be implemented throughout 2022 and 2023. Waterford’s recreational trails were highlighted as part of another ORIS funded project which was launched in June of this year promoting our wonderful amenities as part of the ‘Walk Waterford’ project.  A new walking trail booklet was developed as well as a fantastic online resource with maps, photos and video which can be viewed at www.visitwaterfordtrails.com.

These existing trails and outdoor recreational opportunities are currently being actively promoted not only by Waterford City & County Council but also by Visit Waterford, Ireland’s Ancient East, other stakeholders and the wider community.

Isn’t it time to go out and explore all that Waterford has to offer!

Posted in Economic Development, Scheme / Grant, Tourism | Leave a comment

Mayor remembers those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19

On Friday, November 26th, the Mayor of Waterford City and County Council, Cllr Joe Kelly planted a tree in the People’s Park, paying tribute to those who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

Cllr Kelly said, “It is my great honour as Mayor of Waterford City and County, to plant this tree today, remembering those who have sadly lost their lives to Covid.  Each one of them was a mother, a father, a son, or daughter, a partner, a sibling, a friend, a neighbour or a colleague.  They have been taken from their families and loved ones by Covid, but they will not be forgotten.”

“From the dark days that we have endured to the uncertainty that lies ahead, there will be brighter times ahead and we will prevail.”

“This tree is a symbol for those who have passed….strong, proud and always close by.  This spot in the People’s Park is somewhere tranquil and soothing when we want to remember those who we’ve lost.  It’s a place to visit to pause, reflect and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives, and also to acknowledge all who have contributed to the fight against Covid, in particular our frontline healthcare workers.  We are indebted to them for their hard-work, compassion and their professionalism as they work through this difficult time.”

Remembrance events had taken place throughout the country in September however, Waterford City and County Council delayed the ceremony in order to source a tree, fitting to mark the solemnity and magnitude of the occasion.

Eoin Dullea, Horticulturist with Waterford City and County Council sourced a beautiful foxglove tree (Paulownia Tomentosa) and explained why he had chosen that particular species.

“In essence, when the Foxglove tree or Paulownia is in flower, it looks far too exotic to be grown in Ireland.  The foxglove tree is a tree not seen that much in our ordinary everyday gardens as it is far too big for a small garden as a fully grown tree.  However, it is perfect for this location and an occasion as respectful as this deserves a tree as magnificent as this.”

Posted in Council News, COVID-19 | Leave a comment

Tramore to light up with Christmas Festival trail

Festive lights trail, a Christmas Garden, Christmas Crafts and a surfing penguin will feature in this year’s offering

Tramore will sparkle this Christmas season as the ‘Christmas in Tramore’ festive trail gets underway from Thursday, December 2nd.

According to Lynda Lawton, Operations Manager with Waterford Chamber, “This year we had hoped for on-street events, but we’re putting safety first and with numbers rising we are concentrating our efforts into bringing you a fantastic trail of festive displays throughout the town.  We have loads of fabulous lighting installations for you to discover and capture magical moments, from the entrance to Tramore right up to the Doneraile and everywhere in between.”

Lights will be turned on by Cllr Joe Kelly, Mayor of Waterford City & County on December 2nd and key attractions on Main Street will include a 20ft Christmas tree and a giant festive post box for children to post their letters to Santa.

Mayor Kelly is looking forward to seeing Tramore lit up in the run up to Christmas.

“Tramore really does have something for everyone this Christmas season.  While the on-street events might be on hold this year due to public safety considerations, Tramore will be magical this Christmas.  With so many family-friendly attractions, such as a 20 ft high Christmas tree, Santa’s sleigh and a light garden at the Railway Station, I think Tramore will even outdo the North Pole!”

“The enormous efforts of Waterford Chamber, EveryEvent, Waterford City and County Council and all the local businesses to make Tramore a must-visit festive destination have to be commended, and hopefully the festival can continue to grow in the coming years.”

Following new investment in festive lights by Waterford City and County Council, the area will be lit by a curtain of Christmas lights to add to the festive atmosphere.  Santa’s sleigh will take up prominent position at the Plaza and will make a picture-perfect opportunity for children and families to pose for photos. Santa has even promised to stop by on some days to say hello!

Meanwhile, down at the Railway Station there will be a light garden with plenty of photo opportunities.

As well as having the chance to visit Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens for the Enchanted Garden Light Festival and the Coastguard Cultural Station to pick up some incredible crafts, wrap up the family and check out the

Tramore Tidy Towns Christmas Garden, opposite Apple Green; Tramore AFC festive display; the Big Trees at Tramore Racecourse, Branch Road and Priest’s Road; Tramore Tidy Towns Winter Garden at Tramore GAA Roundabout and the surfing penguin and festive lights at the Life Saving Centre.

 

-ENDS-

Posted in Arts / Culture, Community Alerts, Events & Festivals | Leave a comment