2018 Award Winners Abbey TidyTowns, County Galway.
Abbey TidyTowns won the overall 2018 Waters & Communities Special Award. They have been very concerned about their river and the continuous growth of algae and lack of fish in the river. During 2017 and the first half of 2018 they raised awareness, linking with relevant bodies like Galway County Council, the LA Waters Programme, and Inland Fisheries Ireland.
Abbey TidyTowns helped get the local Community Employment Scheme involved in cleaning up the river, organised a public meeting, and talked to local school children and scout groups about the biodiversity of the river, and their own impacts on water quality. They invited Inland Fisheries Ireland to do electrofishing on the section of river that flows through their village.
Abbey TidyTowns received funding from Galway County Council’s Local Agenda 21 for a biodiversity mural on a wall in their sensory garden, beside the river. The mural explores and illustrates the importance of water quality. It shows species that can be sighted regularly on local rivers, and the life cycle of native trout.
Sheevaun Thompson, LA Waters Programme