On March 13, as part of National Tree Week, Clonakilty residents will have a chance to take positive action against climate change by getting involved in this year’s planting of trees at the new forest by Gullane Lake. Paul Cullen fills us in.
No one likes hearing doom and gloom; it’s hard to relate to all the talk of rising sea levels, global warming and increased flooding. However, after one of the wettest winters on record, it is not hard to see that climate change is very real and it is affecting all of us. We can feel powerless but that simply is not the case. We are all both part of the problem and of the solution.
One such solution is to plant more trees. Ireland has one of the lowest forest cover rates in the whole of Europe. Trees are great at absorbing emissions, therefore helping to undo some of the damage that we do by burning fossil fuels. As well as making our air cleaner, the ability of trees to absorb water helps to reduce flooding.
Many are aware of the work of Branch Out at Gullane Lake, close to the Technology Park in Clonakilty. Over the last three years the group has organised the planting of over 5,000 native Irish trees. Some of the trees planted in the first year are already over 8ft tall! With a lovely mixture of oak, beech, alder, birch and scots pine, the woodland is starting to take shape. In the near future it will be a fantastic place to go for a walk or a picnic but in the meantime there are more trees to be planted.
This year SWS Forestry and local nurseries have donated over 1,000 trees. Everybody is encouraged to come along and help; people can stay for the day or just plant one or two trees. Planting a small tree that will become a part of big woodland is a very satisfying thing to do – be part of the action!
Planting begins at 9am and continues throughout the day until 5pm. Parking is at the Clonakilty Technology Park. Please bring a garden spade and a high-visibility vest with you if you have them – some tools will also be available at the site. Refreshments will be provided for volunteers. Come along and play a part in creating a beautiful place for us and for our future generations.