Tidy Town Section Tourism
/ Heritage Centre: The Moat of Ardscull, Athy, Co. Kildare
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
There is a large meadow in full
We need more such places, but not
in the countryside where we could have the real thing.
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
Pathways and interpretation boards were constructed.
The 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
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.
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
An copy of an ancient map is available at the site
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.
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.
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
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.
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