Top 10 Tips to become a Winning SuperValu TidyTown

SuperValu TidyTowns judging to commence in coming weeks – here’s what it takes to become a winning town

Top 10 Tips to become a Winning SuperValu TidyTow

Abbeyleix Co. Laois announced as Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2023
Picture shows Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu ; Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD and the Abbeyleix Tidy Town committee celebrating winning the Overall Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2023 as well as the Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town at the SuperValu TidyTowns awards 2023. Pic:Naoise Culhane-no fee
Over 600 TidyTowns volunteers were present at the SuperValu TidyTowns awards ceremony at Croke Park in Dublin with the event live-streamed to thousands more online. Pic:Naoise Culhane-no fee

The deadline for the 66th annual SuperValu TidyTowns Competition 2024 has passed and that only means one thing – soon teams of judges will be visiting over 1,000 towns and villages across the country to determine the winners of the unique and unparalleled community movement.

The SuperValu TidyTowns competition commenced in 1958 and has since become Ireland’s best-known sustainable and environmental initiative. The competition is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development and has been proudly sponsored by SuperValu since 1991.

Last year’s competition saw 30,000 volunteers compete with entries received from over 880 towns, villages and communities across the country.

From demonstrating a clear understanding of nature and sustainability in your local environment to conservation of streetscapes and public places, below are some top tips from some winning committees on what it takes to clinch the title of Ireland’s Tidiest Town:

Top 10 Tips to become a SuperValu TidyTowns Winner:

  1. Community – Your Planning and Involvement – The most effective TidyTowns groups are the ones with broad representation from across the community involving residents, businesses and public bodies, of all ages and backgrounds. As shown throughout the country in previous SuperValu TidyTowns competition winning towns, villages and neighbourhoods, the actions of a local group participating in TidyTowns and similar initiatives can greatly improve the sense of community, quality of people’s lives and local environments.


  1. A Local Biodiversity Action Plan – Communities should devise a plan specifically for your area that will help your community understand, protect and enhance nature and biodiversity. This may include protected areas and/or areas important for conservation e.g. waterways, field boundaries, coastal features etc.


  1. Tree planting and Habitat Creation – All TidyTowns groups are recommended to add to their existing stock of trees by organising tree-planting initiatives with as many residents as possible involved. Projects like hedgerow planting, bee and butterfly banks are easy and inexpensive.


  1. Actions for pollinators –TidyTowns groups have been at the forefront of efforts to assist our pollinators. Given the importance of pollinating insects in biodiversity, it is expected all groups will undertake projects with these species in mind. Most local authorities have signed up to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan so you will likely find a good response when you ask for assistance and advice in this area.


  1. Sustainability has been evolving in keeping with current EU and government policy as well as ‘best practice’ guidelines. The sustainability category calls on towns and villages to show an understanding of what this category means and awareness of the move towards a Circular Economy and implementation of Sustainable Development Goals. Below are some top tips for a Sustainable Community:
  1. Shop local: Mention any ‘Shop Local’ campaign as this saves on energy and transport as well as helping the local economy.
  2. Promote ‘no waste’ gift ideas like vouchers/ tickets/memberships.
  3. Sharing resources in the community such as grass-cutting/landscaping equipment.
  4. Lobby for cycle paths and routes (if appropriate) and encourage the local authority to install cycling infrastructure such as secure bike stands and shelters.


  1. Tidiness – Judges keep an eye out for general lack of clutter, blocked footpaths, redundant poles, unsightly overhead electric cables, absence of graffiti, and control of weed growth at kerbs. The judges will assess the absence of litter and dumping, including regular litter patrols, segregation of collected litter during clean-ups and promotion of anti-litter awareness throughout the community.


  1. Residential Streets and Housing – Residential streets that include Town Houses are integral parts of towns and villages. Proper presentation and maintenance of all properties and maintenance of frontages, boundary and gable end walls. Gardens, where applicable, should be presented to a good standard. In housing developments, green areas should be appropriately managed for biodiversity and amenity. Children’s play areas should also be managed with equipment maintained to best standards.


  1. Planning – Streetscape and Public Places – Judges take into account conservation and presentation of heritage buildings and quality of shop-fronts. Obviously, public spaces such as squares, parks, playgrounds, street scape and their paving, landscaping and street furniture are important and ensuring they are mindful of and access for all.


  1. Green spaces – The planning, design and management of green spaces is an important factor in becoming a winning TidyTown. The selection and appropriate siting of trees and their ongoing maintenance and attention to the stakes and ties should be a key feature in your local community. The use of suitable plants for hedges and shrubs for year-round effect is important as is the siting of seasonal planting of pollinator friendly schemes where you wish to highlight important areas.


  1. Approach Roads, Streets and Lanes – Committees should consider appropriate presentation of approach roads, including the roadside verges and their boundary treatment. The appearance of town and village streets, connecting roads, roundabouts within the 60 km/h, laneways, bridges and cycle lanes are all important elements for projecting a TidyTown.


Speaking ahead of the judging period, John Kelly, Sponsorship & Community Brand Manager,  SuperValu said: “Every year we are blown away by the commitment the over 1,000 TidyTowns committees show to improving their local area and making it a better, more sustainable place to live and work. The judging period is an exciting time for communities to showcase the sustainable and collective actions they are taking in their areas – from planting trees to building bee and butterfly corridors, the initiatives being led by TidyTowns groups, both big and small, make a lasting, positive impact on our planet.”

“I’d also like to commend our network of dedicated SuperValu retailers who play an integral role in spearheading local action to make a global impact through the uniting force that is the SuperValu TidyTowns Competition.”

The Competition contains an impressive array of Special Awards such as the All Ireland Pollinator Plan Award, the Young Persons in TidyTowns Award, the Heritage Award and the Leave No Trace Award among others, which bring an added dimension to the completion and of course offer some fantastic prizes for winning towns.

Following on from last year’s inaugural Town Centre First Award, the category is continuing this year as an official Supervalu TidyTowns Special Award, to recognise exemplary efforts made by towns in driving forward town centre revitalisation in line with Town Centre First policy.

The closing date for receipt of entries for the special awards categories is Wednesday 5th June 2024

Full details of the competition are available on or

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