Bringing back the forest to Cloich na Coillte

Clon tree1

Posted on: 6th March, 2014

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: West Cork People

by Paul Cullen, Branch Out

In spring last year, a small group of people decided to plant a forest in Clonakilty. As most are aware, Cloich na Coillte means stone and woods. The town has so much going for it, beautiful countryside, breathtaking beaches, amazing people but no woods.

It all started from the seed of an idea sown during a Cultural Brunch held in O’Donovan’s Hotel by a group appropriately named Branch Out. Branch Out is a group of people from all over the world living in the area, who meet up monthly to share food and connect. At the aforementioned brunch it was realised that a number of people shared a dream of having a native woodland in Clonakilty.

In a very short space of time this dream became reality. Miraculously Cork County Council offered the stunning land surrounding Gullane Lake to be used for the woodland and 1,500 trees were donated from local nurseries. On a sunny day in April over one hundred tree planters turned up to lend a hand; people from all walks of life and all ages.

It was heartwarming to see so many children being part of the day. It is these children that will benefit most, and their children. Older generations were keen to be part of the action too. One very elderly gentleman made the steep trek to the planting area, planted just one tree and walked quietly back down. Everyone was delighted to be involved.

On March 8 this year, as part of the National Tree Week, it is all happening again. The plan is to plant 2,000 trees this time with many local businesses offering to help out. SWS Forestry Services has confirmed delivery of 1,000 native trees with the rest donated from local nurseries – for which the organisers are extremely grateful. Some hardware shops are supplying tools and Super Valu and Londis will have some tasty food, fresh from their bakeries, lined up for the volunteers.

It goes without saying that the woodland will be a great addition to the town. As the trees grow, new wildlife will make their home there. In 20 years the entire area will be covered with trees. Over time, walkways, a picnic area and possibly a car park will be developed. Cllr. Christopher O’Sullivan has proposed a walkway from Clonakilty to link in with the woodland and the Technology Park.

It all started with a dream, but with ambition and belief the woodland is becoming a reality. In one hundred years or so from now, early on a bright spring morning, we will all be long gone but left will be the chorus of wild birds and a beautiful oak woodland in Cloich na Coillte.

So if you are free on March 8, grab your shovel and spade and come down to lend a hand. The meeting place is Clonakilty Technology Park where volunteers will chaperone groups to the planting area every hour from 9am to 5pm. Everyone is welcome.

Check out www.clonakiltyforest.com for more details.

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email bandonwalledtown@gmail.com
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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7th September, 2017  ·  

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