Balladine NeighbourWood Project
The NeighbourWood Project in Balladine will see the transformation of a formerly unmanaged site into a landscaped space that will deliver: Recreation & Amenity, Native Woodland Habitat and also a significant Carbon Sink in the heart of Abbeyleix. This project is being led by the committed and hardworking residents in Corrán na n-Óir, Gort na n-Óir, Slí na n-Óir, Balladine Heights and Balladine Drive (local coordinator and point of contact Aisling Rothwell) in conjunction with Abbeyleix Tidy Towns and Laois County Council.
The project is funded by the Forestry Service (NeighbourWood Scheme) and also Laois County Council. The design for this project was provided by GreenPine Consultants and the work on the ground is being done by locally based contractor Seamus Whelan.
Phase 1: 2020
The first phase of the Balladine Landscape plan saw the drainage of a playing area which tended to be very greasy and wet as it is was underlain by compacted builders rubble. Following a comprehensive drainage project funded through the Community Enhancement Scheme, this area is now free draining and suitable for use as a play-area all year round. The local residents also use it to host community days etc. This playing area/ multi use area will tie in well with the adjacent grounds which will be developed as native woodland.
Phase 2: 2021
The second phase of this project saw the establishment of the first "NeighbourWood" in Laois. The formerly un-managed site has been transformed by the establishment of approximately 2.5 acres of native woodland and also pathways, wildlife interpretation and an outdoor classroom area.