Bush & Grange Partnership

Five Year Plan

Tidy Towns Plan for Grange, Bush & District, Co. Louth from
2009 to 2014





Grange, Bush & District in the picturesque Cooley peninsula is located some 3 km west of Carlingford,



Map 1: Grange & District, Co. Louth



Uniquely the Tidy Towns Committee for the area works over an extensive area surrounding the village itself – and which comprises a number of distinct areas – Grange, Irish Grange, The Bush, The Acre and Monksland.  Within each of these areas works are done by local volunteers all of whom are directly associated with the Grange & District Residents’Association. 


The extent of the area concerned is shown on Map 2 attached.  References are made throughout the Plan to specific works at focal points in the wider area and general works throughout.




Tidy Towns Competition



2008 was the first year we entered the Tidy Towns Competition.


We appreciated the comments and feedback from the Adjudicator and have tried to incorporate all feedback into our current work programme.


Going forward we again draw the Adjudicator’s attention to the scope of the area in which we work and ask that the entire area is visited and assessed.





Overall Development Approach


At present, there are 12 volunteers involved in the Grange and District Residents’Association.  In addition we have been able to draw upon support from up to 45 additional helpers for specific jobs and projects.  The FAS scheme for the area looks after the  maintenance of the Churches and graveyards.


We meet on the first Monday of each month.  We further divide up into work groups for specific tasks such as litter pick ups.  We fundraise through raffles and voluntary donations.  We communicate with the wider community through the Church Bulletin, our Annual Newsletter and local Press.  We are soon expanding communications to include e-mails and text messages.  As noted below we are also planning to create and communication through a website.

This will be a joint project with Bush Old Schoolhouse     Committee        funded by the International Fund for Ireland.


New projects: Overall Development Approach

Project & Timeframe


Enter the National Competition

Timeframe: 2009

  • Submit entry form May 2009

Participate in Louth Tidy Towns Together

Timeframe: 2009

  • The Association participates in Louth Tidy Towns Together.

Prepare and implement a new 5-year plan for 2009 - 2012

Timeframe: 2009

  • Undertake plan review.
  • Avail of technical assistance provided by Louth County Council and / or Louth LEADER.
  • Discuss emerging ideas and projects with Area Engineer.
  • Timeframe and review resources.

Expand our communications strategy

Timeframe: 2009

  • Use e-mails and text messages to co-ordinate volunteers.
  • We are planning inputs into a website working with the Bush Old School Committee.

Work with local schools

Timeframe: 2010

  • Work with the local primary school at Monksland  on advancing towards Green Flag status and with the Secondary School at Bush on starting the Green Flag registration process, through out School-Liaison Officer in relation to

Acquire and maintain equipment

Timeframe: 2010

  • We will acquire new equipment including a strimmer and mower.

Co-ordinate Work Evenings

Timeframe: ongoing

  • The Committee will continue to meet regularly for work nights.

Continue to raise funds locally

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Continue raffle.
  • Liaise with local businesses re. sponsorship opportunities
  • Seek project specific sponsorship from Louth LEADER

Participate in local planning

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Monitor (as appropriate) local planning applications especially in relation to traffic control in the area.
  • Make development plan submissions.

Promote and advertise

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Make local people aware of the work of the Association and the importance of donating even one hour per week to support our work.
  • Write to local businesses seeking support and assistance.
  • Circulate a local newsletter.
  • Print posters for erection in local shops advertising the start of judging in June.

Liaise with Louth County Council

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Work with the Council’s Environment Section on their numerous initiatives for Associations.
  • Meet with the Heritage, Conservation and Tourism officers to identify any tasks that can be prioritised for funding or support.
  • Inform each Councillor and TD for the area in of our planned work programme.

Work with Local Associations

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Work with existing and new  associations in the area.

e.g. Community Alert& Bush Old Schoolhouse Committee.

Work with other local initiatives and community groups

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Work with the Bush Old School Committee on the website and also on the use of IFI allocated grant funding  for producing a booklet on Shared History.
  • Work with the Local Issues Group.
  • Liaise with the local archaeological society..



Built Environment



The village of Grange is an attractive rural area.  Key features within Grange itself include the Church, of St. James.  The Church is presented to an extremely high standard – both inside and out, and is proudly the oldest Church in the Archdioceses of Armagh in use, as it dates back to 1761.

John Long’s attractive pub ,Monksland House and a number of private dwellings are worth noting.

The new nameplates at the entrance to Grange (below the railway arch) have been awarded a County-level prize.  The award plaque is erected on the abutment.


The old Granary is an attractive building in the centre, of the village that has fallen into decline over a significant period.  We are delighted to note that there are proposals for its re-development and enhancement and this will further add to the beauty of this old village



Within the wider area – the District covered by the Association, there are attractive and well maintained features such as water pumps, name stones, blacksmiths gates, etc. which we will work hard to present to a high standard.  The old railway bridge at Bush Park is a particular feature which we hope to enhance during the life of this plan.


New projects: Built Environment

Project & Timeframe


Enhance focal points in each locality in the District

Timeframe: 2009 – 2014

  • Grange Village
    • Undertake specific projects identified through this plan;
  • Irish Grange
    • Maintain the nameplate ,landscaping and stonework.
    • Liaise with the County Council re the definition of the roadside area and the provision of kerbstones;
    • Develop a water feature project..
  • The Bush
    • Maintain the old railway bridge and examine the feasibility of a number of projects such as:
      • Presentation of old railway machinery;
      • Uplighting;
      • Development of a water features;
    • We will liaise with the County Council re the repair of the edging at the side of the Bridge;
    • Maintain the open space;
    • Clear and improve the stream at the commercial yard / garage including provision of stone facing along the channel;
    • Liaise with local businesses in the vicinity.
  • The Acre
    • Maintain the water pump;
    • Maintain the nameplate;
    • Liaise with the ESB re the enhancement of the substation on Acre Hill.
  • Monksland
    • Liaise with the school re the Green School curriculum and specific interactions with the Association on projects.

Liaise with the County Council re possible traffic and speed management in the village

Timeframe: 2009 – 2014

  • We will lobby the County Council for the installation of appropriate speed and traffic management in the village centre – such as speed bumps, speed limit signs, etc.

Undertake minor improvements in the area

Timeframe: 2009

  • Paint – poles; old blacksmiths gates; farm gates; water pumps;
  • Wash road signs.

Maintain information points through the village

Timeframe: 2009

  • We plan to enlist the assistance of Louth County Council in the erection of information boards at key points in the area.



Liaise with the owners of the Granary re small works pending restoration of that building

Timeframe: 2010

The Granary building is a striking building in the centre of the village.  We are delighted that it is due to be restored subject to planning permission.

We will ask the owners to undertake minor works to improve the appearance of the building in the short term include:

  • Paint the old blacksmiths gates;
  • Extend the hedgerow.

Develop the townland and placements project

Timeframe: 2010

  • We will provide local townland nameplates  and perhaps undertake a study on placenames at a later date.
  • We will look to work with local school children on this project.

Enhance Local Heritage Features

Timeframe: 2010


  • Erect a plaque on the site of the former school.
  • Erect a plaque at the Toll Stone on the side of the Pub.
  • Maintain old gates and other features.
  • Maintain and enhance the 4 water pumps in the area – as Bush, Sheelans, Irish Grange and Grange (which is due to be replaced).

Liaise with the owner of the shop re further enhancement works

Timeframe: 2011


Barry’s Shop has benefitted from significant enhancement and improvement over the last number of years.


Assist with planting of daffodil bulbs at the edge of the car park.


Ask the ESB to screen the Sub-Station on Acre Hill

Timeframe: 2012

  • Liaise with the ESB re planting or hoarding off the open views of the switch yard at Acre Hill.

Erect bi-lingual street signs

Timeframe: 2012


  • Maintain townland and street names where currently located.




Liaise with the Council re road works scheduled during the life of this Plan

Timeframe: 2009-2014

  • Discuss any works proposals with Area Engineer.
  • Submit written request to Area Engineer for specific works and discuss with Officials
  • Liaise with elected members re those works.
  • Liaise with the Council re the surfacing of Acre Hill.
  • Specific examples as per the Roads, Streets and Back Areas Section.








The area has a number of amenity and landscaped areas – ranging from the surround rural fields and hedgerows to the excellently presented Churches and graveyards.


Floral displays in the area are a key attraction during the Summer. Mature trees and hedgerows are a particular feature of the area and we will aim to protect existing trees and ensure our landscaping plan includes new tree planting for the future.

Spectacular views of the surrounding landscape provide a beautiful backdrop to landscaping in the graveyard


New Projects: Landscaping

Project & Timeframe


Establish a general maintenance regime

Timeframe: 2009

  • General cleaning and removal of litter from streets, grass verges, gutters and roadsides etc.
  • Maintenance and trimming of hedges
  • Removal of roadside and kerbside verges

Enhance floral displays in the village centre

Timeframe: 2009 - 2010

Tubs, planters and beds are maintained in the village centre.  For added impact we will:

  • Use a mixture of perennials and annual bedding plants.  Perennials can be subdivide every couple of years and used in other locations. 
  • Consider foliage colour as well as flower colour.  Suitable perennials: Heuchera Palace Purple, Aubrieta Joy, Geranium Johnson’s Blue.  Spring bulbs can also be used e.g. Crocus tommasinianus, Narcissus Tete a tete and also consider winter flowering heathers.
  • Sow daffodils and appropriate summer planting at Irish Grange .




 Planting around the Church

Timeframe: 2009 – 2012




The planting around the Church is well maintained although added variety and effect could be achieved.


Tidy Towns Judges have remarked on the high standard of maintenance carried out by FAS workers both at St.James’ Church and at St. Andrew’s at Bush.


The graveyards are also maintained by FAS





Enhancement of the stream that runs along the roadside through the village

Timeframe: 2014


  • In the long term – and subject to the availability of funding through Louth County Council, we plan to upgrade the stream/rill by formalising edges with stone kerbs.  Stone will be set in the base to create ripples in the water.
  • To add more interest a pebble mosaic could be incorporated into the base. 
  • The project could be managed in phases with short sections could be tackled each year although, given budgetary constraints, we appreciate that this will remain a long-term objective.


The existing stream (above) could be enhanced with the types of treatment shown below


Use the embankments on the approached to Grange as wildflower beds


Timeframe: 2009-2014

As detailed under Wildlife, we propose to create wildflower beds on the embankments along the approaches to Grange.  This will provide a generous splash of colour as well as enhancing the wildlife habitat.


We also propose to enhance the flat roadside verges within the speed-limit and use bands of colour to better frame the beautiful views of the mountains to the north.



  • Whitethorn hedges have been planted along the fence line;


  • We will allow grass verges adjacent to the fence line to grow wildflowers  Clover, buttercups, daisy and speedwells will flower and provide good summer colour and increase ecological diversity.  Primroses and Cowslips could be added if not naturally present. 


  • If thistles etc become a problem we will spot treat with roundup.


                                     Buttercup and Clover      Daisy and speedwell


Enhance the open space at Bush


Timeframe: 2009 - 2012

The open space at Bush lies outside the speed limits of the village but is maintained and looked after by the Association



  • Extend the creeper along the bare wall at the Bush Stores or seek sponsorship to have it faced with natural stone.
  • Finish the stone facing of the circular car park opposite the CCL
  • Examine the feasibility of illustrating the stories of the old Railway at Bush.
  • Enhance the railway bridge as noted earlier under Built Environment.


Wildlife and Natural Amenities




Our local wildlife habitats are an important feature of the area.  Local features include native hedgerows, stone walls and rare habitats .




In the life of this Plan we wish to find out more about these local habitats – both big and small, and identify ways in which our actions can enhance these and protect them for the future.



New Projects: Wildlife and Natural Amenities

Project & Timeframe


Manage designated wildlife areas

Timeframe: 2009 - 2014

  • We are currently developing a number of designated stretches of gorse in the area. These areas accommodate wetlands and attract ducks and other wildlife.
  • We will carefully manage these and ensure they are protected as important local habitats.

Finalise the study on the ecology of Grange

Timeframe: 2010 - 2011

  • We will source information being collated by Birdwatch Ireland on the bird life of the Bush/Grange  & District
  • A qualified member of the community is currently preparing a study on the ecology of Grange.
  • We will implement findings of the study insofar as possible in terms of how we manage local habitats and areas.
  • We will provide wildlife information in the area – such as a display board..

Create wildflower embankments on the approaches to Grange

Timeframe: 2009 - 2014

The sloped embankments on the approaches to the village are attractive but prone to looking unkempt as grass gets longer during the Summer.  To both improve the wildlife value of these and reduce our own maintenance we will sow these with a wildflower / bulb mix such as the Pictoral Meadows Golden Summer Mix or Marmalade Mix.


The Pictoral Meadows Golden Summer Mix and the Pictoral Meadows Marmalade Mix are the types of wildflower mixes we propose using on the grassed embankments

Conceal metal fencing with native hedgerows

Timeframe: 2010

  • Extend areas of native hedgerow such as Hawthorn, Whitethorn, etc. to cover exposed metal fencing and provide additional cover for wildlife.

Promote the provision of bird feeders and bat boxes

Timeframe: 2010

  • We will work with residents, school authorities, etc re biodiversity projects .

Protect and repair stone walls in the area

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Stone walls are an important local habitat in our area.  We will look to care for these appropriately and ensure that they are not damaged.
  • Clear ivy from the stone wall on the lower part of Acre Hill.

Implement wildlife friendly planting in the area

Timeframe: 2009 - 2014

  • We will ensure all new planting is environmentally friendly and will positively interact with local wildlife officer.


Use a Mulcher and composting heap for green waste

Timeframe: 2009 - 2014

  • We will encourage the use of mulchers and the use of compost heaps.




Litter Control


Litter control in the area is generally good.  Volunteers manage a litter patrol over an extensive area and the shop owner is vigilant in maintaining their premises.  Reflecting our hard work,. We were awarded a Gold Medal in the County Litter League in 2008.


A key part of our management plan is that we do not want additional public bins in the area as we feel these only add to littering problems.  We liaise with the Council in this on an on-going basis.






New Projects: Litter Control

Project & Timeframe


Implement a Litter Management Plan

Timeframe: 2009

  • Prepare and implement a simple strategy for litter management include details of a litter patrol.
  • Co-ordinate all activities in-line with the Plan.


Maintain regular litter patrols

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Implement a rota system along the lines of the ‘Adopt a Patch’ system.
  • Recruit new members and support from the local community.
  • Monitor black spots and liaise with litter wardens in Louth County Council

Participate and succeed in the County Council’s Litter League

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Participate in annual competition.
  • Display awards in local area.


Organise the National Spring Clean event (April)

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Arrange events in the local area
  • Liaise with local school to ensure school children participate

Raise litter awareness in the area

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Provide information at the proposed information board at the Church information board on litter fines and also waste recycling options (see Waste Minimisation).






Waste Minimisation


Residents are served by doorstep collections – including the green bin service.  There is a cloth bank at Barry’s shop.


While there are no local recycling facilities for glass of plastics, local residents use the high level facilities in nearby Bellurgan bottle banks and in Carlingford.  As facilities are unlikely to be provided in the area in the near future we will concentrate our energies on providing information on the services available and promoting management of waste in the home.


New Projects: Waste Minimisation

Project & Timeframe


Promote recycling locally

Timeframe: 2009 - 2012


  • Circulate a litter and waste information sheet in the area to raise awareness of why people should not litter and what options for recycling are available in the area.

Participate in Waste Seminar

Timeframe: 2009

  • Attend and participate in local and county level waste seminars

Work with the local primary school to earn its Green Flag

Timeframe: 2009 / 2010

  • We will work with Monksland National School and Bush VEC providing whatever support possible, in the attainment of its Green Flag.

Undertake a local waste management survey

Timeframe: 2010 / 2011

  • Ideally in conjunction with one of the schools, we will undertake a waste management survey to ascertain the number and type of home composters, wormeries, etc on the area .



Lead by example

Timeframe: on-going

Ensure we lead by example by:

  • Mulching or composting green waste insofar as possible;
  • Disposing of any other green waste in the Dundalk Recycling Centre;
  • Insofar as possible, segregating collected waste and recycling of these materials;






With a dedicated maintenance and management regime, Grange is a tidy and well presented village and rural area.  We will work hard to ensure this standard is maintained.


New Projects: Tidiness

Project & Timeframe


Undertake general tidy ups

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Clean all shrub, flower beds, and verges as required during spring and summer.
  • Target problem areas – such as the verges along the coast.

Liaise with private property owners

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Identify any issues.
  • Liaise with owners.
  • Suggest solutions and clean up ideas.
  • Compliment the community on their high standard of presentation of their residences.
  • Liaise with the ESB re the enhancement of the ESB substation on Acre Hill.

Undertake annual survey to identify areas requiring attention

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Identify areas requiring attention, namely:
    • Dilapidated, outdated or dirty signs;
    • Redundant posts; footpaths requiring upgrading.
  • Circulate results to the Council.

Oversee / Undertake minor painting work

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Refresh as required: gates etc.
  • Remove graffiti.







Residential Areas


Residential properties in Grange are excellently presented. Local residents work very hard to ensure gardens are well presented and that communal areas are well maintained. 


The Rathabbey estate is particularly well presented – a reflection of the hard work of the Rathabbey residents.


New Projects: Residential Areas

Project & Timeframe




Monitor developments and applications

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Liaise with County Council re specific development proposals.
  • Liaise with Council re signage.

Liaise with residents associations

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Maintain an up-to-date contact list for local residents associations and individual property owners.
  • Share advice on good practice.


Keep residents involved

Timeframe: ongoing

  • Arrange information sessions as necessary with officials from Louth County Council.
  • Encourage participation in Louth County Tidy Estates competition.





Roads, Streets and Back Areas


The village is characterised rural access roads with the primary entrance via the

Railway embankment off the Carlingford Road.  Other approaches are rural in character and defined by native hedgerows.


Within the village itself, roads are well maintained and presented.

New Projects: Roads, Streets and Back Areas

Project & Timeframe


Maintain all roadside areas

Timeframe: 2009 - 2014

·        Ensure all roads and paths are well surfaced and finished.

·         Liaise with Louth County Council re necessary repairs.

·         Identify areas targeted for improvement under the Council’s annual work programme and provide input into materials, programme for works, landscaping, ducting of wires, etc.

·         Maintain verges consistently within the speed limit.

·         Maintain and wash name signs on all approach roads.

·         Repair walls as required.

Provide additional planting along the railway abutments

Timeframe: 2010



The railway abutments provide a beautiful approach into the village, framing the view towards the mountains to the north and also working to very effectively provide a gateway approach into Grange.


We currently plant these with daffodils and other bulbs for seasonal colour.  We will enhance this with additional wildflower and bulb planting.


We will plant for additional effect by planning rays of flowering plants in the grass.  Again, this creates a pattern in the grass and also acts to provide cover for wildlife.    Suitable plant species for planting in mass planting around the abutments include Anthemis punctata subsp. Cupaniana, Verbena bonariensis, Stipa gigantean, Helenium Moerheim Beauty.  


We will also varnish the fence around the site of the Old School House (on the right hand side).

Use the embankments on the approached to Grange as wildflower beds

Timeframe: 2010

As detailed under Wildlife, we propose to create wildflower beds on the embankments along the approaches to Grange. 

Erect street signs

Timeframe: 2011

Liaise with County Council re provision of nameplates as described in Built Environment.



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