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Handing on
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The Moat of Ardscull, on the N78

Kilmeade Community, Kildare

Midland East Tidy Town Award winner '05 and '07

 

Tourism and Tidy Town Section, Hotels, B&Bs, Green Tourism and how and where native flora can be sown to get those all important extra points for Tidy Towns

 Tidy Town Section Tourism / Heritage Centre: The Moat of Ardscull, Athy, Co. Kildare


ard_scoil_4.jpg (23938 bytes)

The Moat of Ardscull, Athy, Co. Kildare is a good example of how a community came together to create a beautiful wildflower park open to the public. The park is well laid out, attractive and is well signed and has interpretation boards.


ard_scoil_10.jpg (36989 bytes)There is a large meadow in full public view.

We need more such places, but not in the countryside where we could have the real thing. 

 


ard_scoil_17.jpg (34032 bytes)The residents responsible for the 'Moat of Ardscull', created a wildflower park, using non native ornamental around the outside of the park and a wildflower meadow in the centre. 
Pathways and interpretation boards were constructed. 


Cowslip in the ancient meadowThe site chosen was originally species rich, coved in native flora and well managed, this was due to the soil type and travellers who would park on the field every year on their way to summer country fairs, hence the travellers horses managed a low cut meadow with about 25 species, dominant with Marjoram and Selfheal.

Sadly the Local residence nor the approving County Council didn't spot the ancient meadow which was destroyed to create the park. 

However, the residents did later contact DBN and I advised a ' no disturbance' of the remains of the existing meadow, but who listens to a wildflower grower, sure we know nothing!. So the plough was employed and the park was started. ard_scoil_15.jpg (28153 bytes)

 


The site was the last battlefield in the 'battle for the pale', and moat for the last Irish families in the pale. 

Indeed some of the species in the landscaping were probably used or eaten by the 'moats' ancient residence, 

We counted 38 wild species and 12 native trees and shrubs, not to mention the grasses.ard_scoil_5.jpg (29579 bytes)

 

 

An copy of an ancient map is available at the site

 


ard_scoil_19.jpg (37633 bytes)the smaller photos are from 2002-2004, the larger photos are from 2009. These open into large format 215kb photos.

 

 

 

The cultivated wildflower meadow is full of native plants, but so too is the lawn, if only the local resident group would allow the ancient species to flower as well


We supplied the wildflower seed and today there is 22 species of native wildflowers in the meadow. 

Orchids at the moatofardscoil

Few of the original natives to the site have had a chance to re-emerge as most of the old meadow is now a lawn.  Luckily a fine example of the meadow exists just outside the park.

Selfheal and yarrow are struggling to emerge in the regular cut lawns, which are surrounding the wildflower meadow.

I counted 22 species growing over two years. I pass the site a lot as I travel about and often drop in to see it.


The residence group cut the wildflower meadow down to a strict and level level 4 inches each year and do not rake the cutting away, Why I cannot figure out but It seems to work, a bit of 'gap creation' would go along way. Certainly species such as scabious and bedstraw are thriving, so too is the very rare Greater Knapweed enjoying a sward, unraked and without weed killer. 

To the left of the sign is an uncut old meadow. Sadly the flora is much depleated.Wildflowers are cut regularly on the verge, making an attractive tidy front to the park. 

 

 

 

 

There is still wild Marjoram in the banks but they never get tall enough to flower. 

 

ard_scoil_3.jpg (21766 bytes)The Moat is filled with woodland species especially Viola species, as the Park is attracting more and more visitors, these tender species are being destroyed by trampling and dogs. 

 

 

 

In conclusion DBN has honoured the long dead ancients and the Irish families and the fairies with a design By nature wildflower seed meadow mixture MM09. 


Tourism and Tidy Town Section, Hotels, B&Bs, Green Tourism and how and where native flora can be sown to get those all important extra points for Tidy Towns

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Sandro's Famous Wildflower Seeds
Handing On Our Heritage
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Mr. Sandro Cafolla t/a   
Design By Nature (Ire) 
Monavea, Carlow, Ireland. 
Eircode
R93 T289

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