Tree Removal on Dargle Valley

MGRA have sadly been informed that 20 oak trees, recently planted by DLRCoCo on Dargle Valley, must be removed and destroyed immediately. This is due to the detection of Oak Processionary Moth on one of these trees. Spread of this pest could pose a risk to both tree and human health. DLRCoCo have offered their sincere apology for this, and hope to replace this with alternative planting early next year.

Further information on Oak Processionary Moth is available from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine via this link.

*RESCHEDULED 22nd October* Gardening for Nature with Aoife Munn

*RESCHEDULED* MGRA are pleased to invite all residents to attend a talk on Gardening for Nature, led by renowned horticulturist Aoife Munn. The talk will take place in Divine Word Parish Centre on the new date of Tuesday 22nd October at 8pm.

Aoife is a horticulturist with many years experience working with County Councils to deliver courses on sustainable gardening, and as a member of the judging committee for the tidy districts competition. She has a keen interest in community gardening and works regularly with residents’ associations. For many years, Aoife has been involved with the Marlay Garden School and is particularly passionate about gardening in an eco-friendly way. Her work has featured on RTE’s Nationwide.

Please join us for what promises to be an enjoyable, informative and rewarding evening. Both experienced gardeners and novice enthusiasts are welcome and refreshments will be provided. We look forward to meeting many of our friends and neighbours on the night.

Thank you to all those who took part in the Community Bulb-planting workshop on Sunday 6th October. Thankfully the sun stayed with us, and it was great to see so many residents getting involved. Let’s hope we all enjoy the results of our hard work next Spring!

Free Sustainable Gardening Course

From Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council:

Once again, we’re offering our highly popular and FREE Sustainable Gardening Course to local residents. The course, which was featured on RTE Nationwide last May will run for 5 sessions on alternate weekends between 30th September – 25th November 2018.

The course offers participants the chance to learn how to plant and manage their gardens for wildlife, propagate their own plants (saving money) and meet like-minded people.

Each session lasts 3 hours (9.30 – 12.30 or 13.30 – 16.30) with time split between walks and talks, classroom discussions and practical sessions.

Sessions will focus on alternatives to spraying, planting for bees, the benefit of trees, wildflower gardens, urban food production, hedgerows and much more.

Workshop dates 30/9, 14/10, 28/10, 11/11 and 25/11

Although the course is aimed at resident groups, we are always happy to accommodate individuals who are keen to learn about sustainable gardening and willing to spread the message.

Spaces are limited (48 places) so please register your interest early by emailing

Sustainable Gardening Workshops in Marlay Park

We received this from DLR County Council in case anyone is interested in taking these workshops:

“Dear Community Groups,

I’m delighted to confirm that DLRCC is once again sponsoring a series of Sustainable Gardening workshops.

These workshops have been designed to encourage resident groups and individuals to make informed decisions when managing their estates/gardens in ways that will be sympathetic to nature and in particular our pollinators.

Workshops will take place in Marlay Park on the following dates:

Sunday 25th February

Sunday 11th March

Sunday 25th March

Sunday 8th April

Sunday 22nd April

Participants are expected to attend all five dates.

We are running three sessions on each date to accommodate as many people as possible, sessions will start at 9.15, 11.30 and 14.00 and run for 2 hours.

Please indicate your preferred start time when booking on this course. To book a place on this course please email Aoife Munn (

If for any reason you can no longer attend please email Aoife at your earliest convenience so that a replacement place can be offered to those on a reserve list.

Those failing to attend the first date and failing to inform Aoife will automatically have their place offered to someone on the reserve list.

All workshops will take place in the poly tunnel at Marley Mark, Aoife will arrange to meet each group at the Café beside the walled garden for the first session.

Environmental Education 5 Week Programme

Week 1   – Pesticides and Waste Reduction

A talk on consulting the Parks Department before starting projects and that not all projects are suitable for all sites.

Eliminate Pesticides

Reuse items in the community – can people put up an offer of a bike their child has grown out of for another?  Etc…

Replace bedding with bee friendly planting

Take part in the monitoring of wildlife in your area.

Enter tidy towns for your area

Signage and training.

Aim to get people to get their back gardens as bee friendly as the street

Cut grass for older neighbours to avoid artificial lawns

Activity: Create an action plan for your area

Week 2 – Taking care of the bees

Bees – Bare soil nesting, long grass, dry stone walls

Pollinator strips,

Clover lawn

Flowering shrubs and bushes

Support local beekeepers

Activity – Build bee hotels and make a sand bank

Week 3 -Identify wildflowers

Identify different species of wildflowers

How to create a wildflower meadow that is more ornamental.

How to create a rewilded area

What to do with grass verges to maximise benefits to bees – 6 week cut

How to deal with big public spaces some ideas and ensuring it is usable (short enough for football in one area and then longer for wildlife in another)

Activity – Sow a tray of wildflower seeds to take home.  Collect wildflower seeds from around the area in an envelope to take home.

Week 4 – Urban Food Production

Look at suitable sites for community gardens

Grow your own veg even small scale like lettuce in window boxes

Crop rotation advice

Herb Gardens

Dividing Herbs to increase stock.

Activity – Sow Seeds for Lettuce to take home

Week 5 -Hedgerows

Identify areas where a hedgerow can be inserted.

Importance of Hedgerows – Cuttings plants for Hedgerows

Importance of a mixed hedgerow as wildlife corridors.

Take the cuttings from a local hedgerow and expand it.

Varied flowering times through the hedgerows.

Willow an excellent addition

Cutting a hedgerow to make it thicker.

Activity: Take cuttings and learn to plant them in a trench.  Take some cuttings home in a pot”

Make Your Own Bird Feeder 10am, 17th Jan 2016, Marlay Park

You are invited to make your own Bird Feeder on Saturday, 17th January. Meeting at 10am in Marlay Park (Grange Road Entrance). Use drills and hammers (provided) to make your very own bird feeder to take home. This is a practical workshop finishing with a short walk looking for wild birds.
Leader: Andrew (Mouse) Fleming. Booking is required.
Please text Andrew on 087 329 9936 to reserve your place. This event is free. More information can be found here.

Bio Diversity in Marley Grange

The committee hope to increase emphasis on the importance of environmental and biodiversity issues, and have appointed Mary Connolly to drive some new initiatives in the coming year. If anyone wishes to get involved in bio diversity in Marley Grange, please feel free to contact Mary at

Mary has identified some tips for being more environmentally friendly within the home, by moving from chemical based cleaning products towards ones based on natural products.

Items such as bread soda, vinegar, lemons, borax and natural oils (peppermint, tea tree, orange / lemon) were used as traditional cleaners and make an effective but safer alternative to commercially available products. Links to useful resources for further information are available on the website.


Biodiversity 1Biodiversity 2

Touch of Spring on Marley Grange

Slowly but surely Spring is starting to make it’s mark. It’s always a lovely time on Marley Grange with flowers blooming everywhere. The first of the daffodils are starting to bloom at the entrance to the estate.