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  LANDSCAPE DESIGN FOR ABBEYFEALE
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION

PAIRC Cois FEALE

LANDSCAPE DESIGN 
FOR
ABBEYFEALE
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION

FEBRUARY 1998

by

Sandro Cafolla,

Design by Nature
Monavea Cross
Crettyard
Carlow

 

From little acorns grow.... 
In 1723 The concept of the Republic of Ireland was said to be first declared in Abbeyfeale.
15 years ago the Abbeyfeale Community Development Association invested in an industrial premises.
Today the town is proud to have created 1500 jobs.
The town's self- help spirit still lives on, and it is our intention to help create a new asset for the town,
a Park for the 21st century featuring a Children's Millennium tree project and Riverside Walk.

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Contents

  • SECTION 1) INTRODUCTION HISTORY & BACKGROUND (Design Brief). 

  • FOCUS & OBJECTIVES AND WORK TO DATE, 

  • SECTION 1A ) LANDSCAPE SURVEY.

  • SECTION 2 FINAL DESIGN BRIEF.  Landscape Design for a Park and Riverside Walk.  Short term and Long Term Design Objectives (overall responsibility) with Tasks& considerations for management (Safety and Health).

  • Recreational Landscape and Leisure Activity management team. 

  • Landscape management team.

  • Design for children.

 

  • SECTION 2A 

  • Administration tasks for management:

  • a) Landscape management team.

  • b) Administration

  • c) Timetable

  • d) Management Planning

  • SECTION 3 

  • LANDSCAPE DESIGN RECREATIONAL PARK

  • Visitor Attractions

  • Tourism

  • Recreational Safety and Safety and Health at work & Visitor Attractions and Amenity areas.

  • Management Training

  • Interpretation and events planning. 

  • Annual Financial Budget

  • Proposed Recreational Facilities.

  • Targets to Satisfy All Users

  • Immediate Priorities

  • Landscape Plan and List of Trees.

  • Tree Planting.

  • Design & Management for Conservation 

  • Water bodies landscape management notes

  • Construction Details. 

  • Car parks, buildings, play equipment, pathways and maintenance yards 

  • Administration

  • Immediate Priorities

  • Water quality, sanitation & problems 

  • Proposed Recreational Facilities.

  • Short Term Priority 6 months to 12 months

  • LANDSCAPE DESIGN PLAN.

  • DESIGN OF FIELD 1 & 2 

  • DESIGN OF FIELD 3

  • Landscape and Buildings construction details.

 

SECTION 1 INTRODUCTION, HISTORY & BACKGROUND.

  • Design Brief 1996 - 1997.

  • Design Focus 1997 - 1998. Work to date.

 

SECTION 1A LANDSCAPE SURVEY

  • The local area.

  • Wildlife zones.

  • Landscape features.

  • Character of local flora.

  • Historical interest.

  • Geology. 

  • Soil capacity.

  • Rainfall and water quality.

  • Land use.

  • Attributes.

  • Aspect.

  • Catchment area.

  • Population.

  • Population predictions.

  • Visitors.

  • Visitors activities.

  • Tourism.

  • Leisure centre.

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  • SECTION 2 
    Landscape Design for a Park and Riverside Walk.

  • Final design brief.

  • Short term Design Objectives

  • Long Term Design Objectives 

  • Design Objectives 

  • Form a Recreational Landscape and Leisure Activity management team.

  • Form a Landscape management team.

  • Design for Nature and Children.

 

  • SECTION 2A) MANAGEMENT PLAN

  • Administration tasks for management: 

  • Recreational Safety and Safety and Health 

  • Recreational Landscape and Leisure Activity management team.

  • Recreation 

  • Landscape and Tree management team.

  • Administration.

  • Tasks for management.

  • Timetable

  • Management Planning

 

SECTION 3 LANDSCAPE DESIGN 

DESIGN OF FIELDS NUMBER 1, 2 & 3
Visitor Attractions and Amenity areas, Recreational and Leisure Activities .
Establishment.
Junior playground.
Tourism..
Recreational Safety and Health for Visitor Attractions and Amenity areas.
Management Training.
Interpretation and events planning.
Annual Financial Budget.
Proposed Recreational Facilities.
Short Term Priority 6 months to 12 months.
Services to Connect on site.
Targets to Satisfy All Users.
Activity Flow.
BioRegion.
Fisheries.
Wildlife.
Environmental Quality.
Educational Resource.
Nature Study Education.
Publicity and Promotion.
Sign Posting.
Immediate Priorities.
Landscape Plan
Broadleaves.
Conifers.
Secondary Broadleaf Species.
Main Shrubs and Feature Trees.
Tree species used at Abbeyfeale.
Tree Planting.
Design & Management for Conservation

List of Birds, Flora and Fauna.
Fishing.
Fishing Platforms.
Ponds and Marshes.
Siting the Marsh and Frog Ponds.
Stock the edges of marsh with following plants.
Water bodies landscape management notes.
Soil erosion.
Construction Details.

This section deals with Car Park, Buildings and Maintenance Yards..
Priority Action for Car Park.
Finish Car Park .
Buildings.
Main construction.
Site Office, Wash room, Public Toilets and lock up. 
Pavilion.
Play ground construction.
Play maze.
Pathways.
Fencing.
Purchases.
Security barriers.
Gates and Management.
Maintenance Yards.
Possible Problems.
Site Clearance.
Codes of Practice.
Legal .
Problems.
Design at Abbeyfeale. 

SPECIFIC INTERPRETATION ON THE OUTDOOR EDUCATION OF CHILDREN
AT ABBEYFEALE.

SECTION 1 INTRODUCTION

HISTORY & BACKGROUND
Design Brief

The ABBEYFEALE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION has purchased 30 acres of land. Works have started to develop a Park. The aim of the Group is to match and raise funding to develop:
1) Recreational facilities and nature trail.
2) Educational and environmental space.
3) Link to the community of Abbeyfeale and its greater environment as described by the broad term `Green Tourism'.

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Design Brief 1996 - 1997
Design by Nature was contacted by Tom O'Connor of Abbeyfeale in 1995.
The initial `in house' site survey and appraisals were carried out by Mr. Sandro Cafolla for Design by Nature.
Mr. Tom O'Connor provided previous designs, maps, suggestions and ideas.
The design task was to outline the main special arrangements of features and events for a:
1) Leisure Centre.
2) Children's Playground.
3) Landscape Park and Riverside Walk.
Following meetings with the group, The leisure centre was deemed unobtainable in 
the medium to long term
The following objectives were then identified for the Design brief.
a) Children's Playground.
b) Landscape Park and Riverside Walk.
Design Focus 1997 - 1998

The Abbeyfeale Group asked Design by Nature to carry out a more comprehensive design based on the issues, ideas and site survey.
As elements of the plan are in place at the time of submitting this report, it must be pointed out, that we feel our task is to assist the Community to develop the Park to the next stage and that design advice was for consideration only and any advice given only to provide focus on what is achievable. The intention being to involve the ABBEYFEALE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION in the design and implementation so that they would fully understand the process involved in establishing a landscape.
This report is the result of Design by Nature's work and is:
A working document to further direct / assist the Group in its next stage of development.
To provide information to raise further funds to finance the next stage.
The group must recognise the enormity of the task they have undertaken and that the design may take a number of years to complete.

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This landscape plan identifies and supports Abbeyfeale Community Association and their advisors choice of position of the playground, car park and entrance at the roadside in the upper part of field 1 & 2. Its placement makes complete use of the most immediate top section of fields 1 & 2 and allows instant (dry ground) access to the primary play space.

This landscape plan seeks to deal with the following.

a) Establishment of Shelterbelt screening, sound, noise and dust barriers.
b) Safety, especially areas by the river banks.
c) Vegetation for landscape amenity and conservation.
d) Use of slope and path directions.
e) Installation of playground equipment.

The proximity of the playground offers a sense of security as the Park is in full view 
of the near by houses.
The car park, playground and upper slope were drained early on in the works to solve water logging and provide drainage necessary for soil type.
The work in upper fields 1 & 2 has been ongoing (Mr. Tom O'Connor) and all the team are pressing ahead in a steady orderly fashion and keeping an otherwise difficult site in good preserve while work continues. This is to be commended.
Pathways, drainage, fencing, wall construction and car park is all near completion, 
and has been managed very well as the job progresses.


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SECTION 1A ) LANDSCAPE SURVEY

THE LOCAL AREA & FEATURES.
The area is adjacent to the River Feale, and southwest of the town centre.
Having highly scenic river frontage and including a reasonable walk along its 900 metres of river edge. The site for the park has views of the river and valley.


THE SITE
Large open spaces mainly 3 fields ( <10 acres each).
And <3 acres of river frontage.
Roadways, paths, car parks and drainage are in place.

LANDSCAPE FEATURES
The main feature of the park is the River Feale, the river views and access to the Bend in the River Feale. The river is in full view from the Parks main visitor areas.
The riverside walk has wooded slopes with semi mature trees including old woodland coppice on steep slopes. there is also a Wetland ecology, and a bog flora.
From a few points there is access to the river, however this requires descending a slope and alighting onto river bedrock.
While a few houses can be seen from the park along with the rear of business premises, there are excellent views of local hillside.

HISTORICAL INTEREST. 
Major interests to consider in the design are:
Local History (market town)
Musical connection to town.
Religious connections with town and Abbey.
Republic of Ireland - first declaration in Abbeyfeale.
On main route Limerick to Kerry.
Important fishing river.

GEOLOGY. 
Mineral soil on shale with limestone glacial drift.
Local soil types Mineral soil on old river bed
Local soil - Tested as neutral to acid.
WILDLIFE ZONES
Limited wildlife exists in the park however there are areas which can be identified for it's educational value. No wildlife survey has been carried out to date.

Along river bank - the old woodland flora Upper crest of river bank and at the lower section of all three fields contains a poor heathland flora.
Throughout the site - contains wetland meadow flora.
Lower flooded section close to the river - contains marsh flora.

CHARACTER OF LOCAL FLORA
locally as one approaches the area small trees and shrubs such as Ash, Hawthorn,
Willow and Alder are to be found in wet places along the river.
On Site: while grass dominates there are Wetland & Woodland Flora.
(80% poor grassland, 10% woodland shrub and 10% wetland).

LAND USE

Poor drainage and compaction have resulted, following pastoral agricultural use.

RAINFALL AND WATER QUALITY 

Annual Mean Daily Temperature (O degrees centigrade)
10.0 - 10.5
Annual Mean Rainfall (mm)
1200-1600mm
Mean Daily Sunshine
3.00 - 3.75 (3.50 within range)
No Water Quality data supplied at time of report
SOIL AND SOIL STABILITY.

The soil found in all three fields is humus poor, podzolised and compacted. 
The soil on the slopes and in the marsh is stable and healthy being covered in its native flora. [soil P. H. is 4.5 - 6.]
The critical feature of this landscape proposal of the Park is to prevent further erosion of the:
Soil and crumb structure.
Riverside. 
Park/field soils. 
Native flora.
NOTE
The river Feale is excellent fishing grounds and in no way should soil erosion, slip or run off be carried into the river from any part of the Park during construction or after.
The bend in the river, it's depth and direction all suggest future river bank erosion on an unstoppable route through either of the bends at the base of Field 1 & 2.
There will be great potential for the creation of new spawn beds as erosion of said banks occurs.


ATTRIBUTES IN DEVELOPING A PARK

Bare site, natural amenity open spaces, views and river size.
Distance from the town centre, this will in the early years give the Park a chance to develop and modify without to much ware, as usage increases most features will be in place.
Scenery, views and size are appropriate in name, position and reference to the town.
Soil drainage and North West aspect. Ideal high moisture content for tree growth).

ASPECT 

The Abbeyfeale site has a northern aspect ideal for the growth of trees, selected shrubs and wetland wildflowers. The aspect will be slow to receive solar gain, direct sunlight and will be slow to lose any ice that builds up over winter.

CATCHMENT AREA.
As per map of the River Feale and it's catchment area from North Kerry to Limerick
and across the Mullaghareirk Mountains
Under `Green' Tourism Guidelines of Sustainable Development. The designer is asked to develop the missing activities in an area. These activities are best developed within an overall framework.
We are targeting the park for a children's park.

POPULATION

Current population 1500 approx. Town land and Parish 3000 approx.
50 persons per square kilometre. Abbeyfeale has an immediate population of 1500 residents expanding to 3000 residents in the greater town land.
Abbeyfeale is situated 55 km south of Limerick on the main N22-N21 southern tourist route. As Limerick is one of the largest fastest growing towns in Ireland the longer term population analysis is that the population of the town will grow and retain a young profile age group.

VISITOR PREDICTIONS

It is expected that most visitors to the park will be from the town and townland.
ie. Town residents, families, children and workers on lunch break.
Predicted visitor numbers to the Park. 
4000 family day trips approx > 2 hours.
8000 family visits < 2 hours
20000 day trips and short walks.

VISITOR ACTIVITIES 
The site of Abbeyfeale Park (Pairc na Feale) is situated on the N21 national route from 
Limerick to Kerry and on to Cork. With the withdrawal of the Shannon stop over and Cork ferry services, local tourism patterns will change. However the rising local population and the overall national increase in tourism will counterbalance this effect.
The typical visitor to the Park will be pedestrians, car and bus passengers (local and visitor), organised visits and school etc.

Predicted reasons to visit the park.
Angling, especially children.
School children on nature study.
Day trippers and passers-by who may like to stop and visit the river and town.
Young people's groups (scouts etc.).
Special interest groups.
Activities will include:
Walking, also with pets.
Lunch breaks and resting.
Sunbathing & Picnicking.
Waterbased activities.
Nature Study.
Fishing. Playing.

NOTE
The full size of the electoral area should be noted and the Area Representative should be lobbied for action on the town's pathways and access routes to the Park.




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TOURISM

A healthy and accessible environment is crucial to the development and facilitation of tourists. Abbeyfeale has the potential to interconnect to it's Tourist BioRegion by providing two missing activities in the area:
1) Safe playground and playspace.
2) Car Parking, Picnic Areas and a Quality Environment for Walking.

wpe3F.jpg (19767 bytes)Artists impression, before and after

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Pairc cois Feale page 1 Starting point of design

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