The Green in Dunfanaghy was developed on land reclaimed from the sea approximately 30 years ago. Local hoteliers fought to keep it for the enjoyment of local residents and visitors alike when the alternative was the development of a car park. Initially, grass and shrubs were planted, a low stone wall around parts of the perimeter was erected, wooden benches and a large anchor from a local shipwreck were installed.
Until 2018, little else other than general maintenance was carried out and problems with water- and mud-logged grass, and rotting furniture and inaccessible rough, rubble paths developed rendering a potential area of high scenic amenity unfit for purpose.
An opportunity to fund improvements arose with the resurrection of the Dunfanaghy Tidy Towns committee and in 2018 there was sufficient money to drain the entire Green, replace diseased trees, remove unsightly and inappropriate plantings, build ground level and wheelchair level flowerbeds, resurface the path around the perimeter, extend the stone wall and install wheelchair/buggy accessible benches and picnic tables. The work was paid for through fundraising activities, the provision of materials by generous local donors and successful applications for small grants. The total cost of the work is estimated to be Euros 8,350. The improvements were completed in early summer 2018 giving rise to a notable increase in the number of locals and visitors using the area. The Green is now used for family picnics, sports events, festivals and as a platform for bird watchers and fitness groups.
While the aesthetic of The Green has improved greatly, feedback from visitors and the community has emphasised that other key improvements include the drainage and footpath resurfacing works allowing access around and through the area regardless of physical ability and prior rainfall.
Due to the resurfacing of the pathway around it, The Green is now wheelchair, buggy and zimmer frame accessible. Local elderly residents and visitors alike are now able to enjoy walking along the seawall as the footpath now has a smooth and trip-hazard free surface. The development and maintenance of the flowerbeds is a combined effort bringing together local gardening enthusiasts and the Scout group.
Improved drainage has enabled the local community to confidently plan events on The Green (registration and starting area for 2 sports events, and site of the Dunfanaghy Food Festival) without concerns about surface water and mud, and eventually root rot and death of the grass, as we have experienced historically.
With the installation of wheelchair accessible picnic tables adjacent to the improved pathway, disabled and non-disabled persons alike can use the new furniture. Excellence is further demonstrated in the sustainability of the furniture in that it's made from recycled plastic.
The Green Dunfanaghy, Donegal
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