News and Events Latest News and Press Releases Hedge Planting Session at Friarstown Allotments The March Green Communities event involved a Hedge Planting Session at Friarstown Allotments in South County Dublin, which started at 10 am on Saturday the 29th of March 2014, but volunteers also arrived later in the day. Because of the exposed nature of the site it was decided to plant wind breaks formed by the planting of native Whitethorn, Blackthorn, Beech, and Holly trees. These will grow and be managed to provide hedging, that will also create a wildlife area in the margins on either side of the main avenue. Michael Hannon of South Dublin County Council's Parks Department directed proceedings, and volunteers from South Dublin Allotments Association, Fingal Conservation Volunteers, and An Taisce Green Communities set about planting the saplings. This resulted in two hedgelines being planted on either side of the avenue entrance to the allotments. At 1 pm An Taisce Green Communities provided a picnic lunch for all volunteers, and at 1:30 pm Michael Hannon spoke about the reasons behind this hedge planting event, and the LEADER funding that has allowed the expansion of the allotments at this site. An Taisce Green Communities Manager Robert Moss then spoke about the importance of these small but intensively farmed resources, and the importance of voters raising urban agriculture and sustainable environmental management as a local election topic. He also described how An Taisce hopes to roll out a green flag award for parks which would be awarded to parks managed in an environmentally responsible way. It is planned to extend this scheme to allotments and community gardens that also manage resources responsibly and in a way that works with nature. A green flag award could be important in recognising the efforts of those allotments that do not use herbicide, pesticide, and artificial fertiliser, but that instead use natural compost, complimentary planting, and natural pest control techniques. The next Green Communities events will be held after Easter. Specifically: Monday 12th of May 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. A Tidy Towns Competition Application Clinic at Dun Loaghaire Rathdown County Hall, Dun Loagahaire. This will look at competition criteria improvements in support of applicants. These will deliver upon the “Wildlife, Habitats, and Natural Amenities” and the “Sustainable Waste and Resource Management” criteria of the competition. If time allows we will take a look at increasing group capacity and PR. Friday the 23rd of May 5:30 pm – 12:00 am. An Taisce Green Communities Biodiversity Training Event as part of National Biodiversity Week in May 2014. A moth, bat, and star mapping event on the Hill of Howth on Friday the 23rd of May.