2022 'Actions For Pollinators'

We are proactively encouraging biodiversity to thrive in Johnstown.

Actions for Pollinators Pride of Place Award 2022 was presented to volunteers at MCC Buvinda House 12th October.

Encouraged by our first ever entry in 2021 where we hosted 30 sites, our 2022 entry has risen to potentially over 80 public sites and +300 residential gardens contributing.


Expand to View

Our volunteers are proactively encouraging biodiversity to thrive in Johnstown. Encouraged by our first ever entry in 2021 where we hosted 30 pollinator specific planting sites, our 2022 entry has risen to potentially over 80 public sites with up to 300 residential gardens contributing. Adding to this are our projects to remove weedkiller use from our entire neighbourhood, planting sunflowers trail 2022, and promoting alternative lawn and garden management.

It would be fair to say that since 2020 we have only undertaken pollinator friendly planting and management projects within our neighbourhood.

At the time of submitting this we have 1,400 sunflowers being grown, at least 2 estates (Johnstown Wood Elm & Chestnut and Bailis Downs) looking highly likely to achieve ‘No Mow May’ for approx 20,000 sqm of public lawn. Combined with the recent ‘Don’t Mow Yet’ initiative by MCC for public spaces the community will certainly notice the changes. We intend to continue promoting these positive initiatives with 2 new summer meadows, composting leaves and grass, water efficient planting, and a sustainable approach to public planting displays.

Our projects demonstrate (we make no apology for the huge number that we have underway – our apologies though for the number of pages to read) and we have engaged all ages and abilities within our community to achieve this.

We also conform to the pollinator.ie communities’ actions with steps taken to:

  • Identify and protect existing areas that are good for pollinators

  • Signage used to identify the public areas within the local community that are important for pollinators

  • Protect existing sources of food and shelter for pollinators

  • Reduce the frequency of mowing grassy areas

  • Reduce mowing and aim to create a wildflower meadow

  • Create a short flowering ‘6-week meadow’

  • Let the Dandelions bloom!

  • No Mow May

  • Pollinator-friendly planting

  • Flowering trees and shrubs

  • Perennial flowers for pollinators

  • Annual flowers for pollinators

  • Pollinator-friendly urban planters

  • Pollinator-friendly roundabouts

  • Create new hedgerows

  • Reduce the use of pesticides

  • Eliminate the use of pesticides

  • Ensure best practise where the use of pesticides cannot be avoided

  • Raise public awareness of pollinators within the local area

  • Promote the Junior Pollinator Plan

  • Raise awareness within local businesses

  • Put up signage

  • Tracking progress and recognition for efforts

  • Log your ‘Actions for Pollinators’ on the mapping system

We have follow-up projects to identify what is growing in our project sites, what species benefit from our actions, and how to encourage more through surveys and studies. Our current engagement with schools will hopefully lead to more proactive citizen science projects.

One aspect we’re highly conscious that we have yet to provide are things like man made bug hotels, bird boxes, bird feeders, and nesting sites. We are divided in how to proceed with these since there is conflicting discussion between what is ‘marketed’ as being wildlife friendly and that which mother nature would provide. The ‘designer’ image couldn’t be more different to the simplicity of what is actually useful and healthy. One such example are bird feeders where members have seen first-hand the harm they can do to birds such as goldfinches if not properly cleaned, these are valuable but are not substitutes for planting fruit bushes, hosting meadows with insects and flower seeds etc.

On a smartphone to zoom in and view 'pinch out' with 2 fingers on the screen.

Projects Map Key

  • (N) New since last entry.

  • (M) Maintenance of previous entry.

  • (E) Expansion of an earlier project

  • (P) Planned project for 2022

1.Wide Area Projects

(E) Johnstown Sunflower Trail

In 2021 we hosted x19 sites (of the x28 potential) with 250 flowers along an 8km trail from July to October. This year we have 4 schools producing 1,400 plants for up to 58 public sites on a 10km walk! We also have up to +300 plants to give to the community to grow in their front gardens to fill gaps in the trail. The next few weeks will decide how many we can achieve.

View More

(E) Green Km: Stop Weedkiller Use

We can't support biodiversity and actively be seen to kill it at the same time.

As part of our green km MCC initiative, we are maintaining 4km of public main roads without weedkillers. Again we will be inviting the community to help by providing free patio scrapers. If our grant appears from the Community Capital Grant we will be implementing the Foamstream treatment over a wider area.

View More


2.Local Planting Areas

Presented in the order of a walking route.

No 1

(N) St Martha's Bridge

Our x30 planters aim to be 100% pollinator-friendly to create a flower display from early June to late October.

View More

No 2

(M) Bailis Downs Fence Line

Irish Native Wildflowers were sown in 2021 to stop weedkiller use and act as a litter barrier and make collection easier. It also looked amazing, although we have ceased sowing packet seeds in preference for natural wildflowers.

View More

No 3

(M) Crocuses

In 2019 we planted 100 crocuses as a pilot project around the bases of trees on the Bailis Downs green. We thought they had all perished in the wet clay soil but some reappeared in Feb 2022!

No's 3,11,14, &19

(N) Native Tree Planting

x50 new native pollinator-friendly trees along Metges Road were provided by MCC and planted by residents in 4 estates.

View More

No's 4, 20, & 21

(N) Navan's Dispersed Urban Orchard

x12 new Fruit trees as part of Wild About Navan's project spread over 3 sites.

View More

No 5.

(N) Bailis Downs Wall

A planting scheme that has 5 holly trees as defensive planting and potential for either a sown 'designer wildflower meadow', six-week meadow, or a summer meadow depending on residents' input.

View More

No's 6,13,15, &17.

(N) Estate Marker Stones

We are hoping to inspire the residents groups at 4 estates along Metges Road. We're starting them off with rudbeckia goldsturm that have already been planted and grown in pots.

View More

No 7.

(E) Athlumney Hall Verge

30m added to our fruit and herb verge in Autumn having spent the Summer in the St Martha's Bridge display. We have also accumulated more wildflowers.

View More

No 8.

(P) Bus Stop Planting

Proposal being submitted to MCC to create a pilot planting to enhance the traveller experience.

View More

No 9.

(M) Former Petrol Station Verge

Transformed from scorched poisoned earth to host climbers, wildflowers, and summer meadow.

View More

No's 10 & 25.

(E) Welcome Signs

The intention is to plant perennial shrubs such as heathers and herbs in June. Unfortunately, the tulips and daffodils planted in 2020 are of no benefit to pollinators but the sunflowers are well loved.

View More

No 12.

(M) Wild Area

A completely 'wild' area where we're doing very little except to leave the space alone to see what grows.

View More

No 13.

(N) Chestnut & Elm Lawn Summer Meadow

Opportunity to pilot a 500sqm summer meadow to see if we can expand in the future into the 11,000sqm lawn.

View More

No 16.

(E) School Roundabout

Additional bulb planting involving Colaiste Na Mi students in Autumn 2021 and Spring 2022.

View More

No 18

(M) JPP Corner

Irish Native Wildflowers were sown in 2021 to stop weedkiller use and encourage the community to embrace planting for pollinators. It looked amazing but we have ceased sowing packet seeds in preference for natural wildflowers.

View More

No 22.

(M) Spireview Lawn Summer Meadow

Residents 2nd year of growing long grass should see new lawn flowers begin to develop. We will repeat the cutting and clearing before our first sowing of Yellow Rattle in August. This aims to reduce the grass content and make space for local wildflowers.

View More

No 23.

(N) Spireview Parade Summer Meadow

An unloved area where we will create a summer meadow to resolve the issues of the lack of commitment to regular traditional maintenance.

View More

No 24.

(P) Spireview Steps

An opportunity to resolve antisocial behaviour and to 'beautify' an essential link.

View More

No 26.

(M) Kilcarn Bridge Field

Benefiting biodiversity by being natural.

View More


3.Neighbourhood Initiatives

(N) Delay Estate Lawn's First Spring Cut

A non-judgmental survey which we will use to cajole and support those who manage lawns to follow other estates to both save residents money and also benefit pollinators at a time when they need the most support.

View More

(N) Cut Less Often.

Similar intention to delaying the first Spring cut will allow lawn flowers to develop and flower more often over vast areas.

View More

(N) Weedkiller-Free Estates

This is an extension of our public road work to control weeds without using harmful chemicals. The non-judgmental survey could encourage estate managers to do the same.

View More

(M) Pollinator Gardens

The register on pollinators.ie has gotten off to a slow start across Ireland. We're aiming to put Johnstown on the map with a kick start.

View More

(M) Tree Survey

We simply don't know what trees we host in Johnstown and the benefit they may host as habitats, food, or shelter. Although our survey is very slowly building we aim to engage residents with a kick start by telling us what's in their garden and we'll map it.

View More

(N) Hedgerow Survey

First of 3 survey stages aims to raise awareness that our suburban neighbourhood already has the backbone for pollinator corridors.

View More