Tree planting with Edmondstown NS Green Schools Committee
One of the Coillte Nature highlights this spring was planting trees at Cruagh Woods with the Green Schools Committee from the local primary school, Edmondstown N.S. In February the Green Schools Coordinator, Ms Leanne Browne, arranged for the committee to help us complete the planting of a section of Cruagh Woods which is being converted from a commercial plantation to a native woodland mix. This is part of the wider Dublin Mountains Makeover which will see an area of over 900 hectares across nine Coillte forests transitioning away from commercial forestry, to be managed primarily for people and nature.
'We love trees and have made an effort to plant lots more in our school '
Aoife (5th Class)
The students came well prepared in their outdoor gear and hi-vis jackets. They spoke enthusiastically about the activities that they have been doing in their school for biodiversity. Last year their school was a pilot school for a new flag called Global Citizenship: Biodiversity and Food Waste and the current flag they are working on is Global Citizenship: Litter and Waste. They were full of information about trees and woodlands. Ted (1st class) explained to us that there is a network of fungi under the ground, and that the trees use it to communicate with each other. The students were able to tell us about how the trees take in carbon dioxide from the air and give out oxygen.
Lily (4th class) planting a Scots pine
We had a variety of tree species to plant, and the students put in Scots pine, rowan, birch and oak. They dug holes, placed the roots in the hole and then filled the earth in around, pressing in the earth with their feet to make sure that it was nice and firm. We saw a few Scots pine already growing on the site, they are now huge and it will take over 60 years for these ones that the students planted to grow that big.
'I loved learning how to plant trees and about the wildlife in Cruagh'.
Ted (1st class)
'I enjoyed being in the woods because the air felt purer'.
Ethan (6th class)
We explained to the students that we have put a big fence around the area where the native trees are planted to keep the deer out, as they would just love to have a nibble on the young trees! This area will be fully fenced off, but the area in the more visited area of Cruagh woods has a deer gate that you can pass through, and a new trail which meanders through the new native woodland area, with sections of boardwalks and some small bridges. We will be putting up some signage there to explain more about the new native woodland area and the Green Schools committee have offered to give us some suggestions for this! Hugo (5th class) said 'We are so excited to help think of new ideas for the development of Cruagh Woods’.
'I loved exploring the woods and counting the rings of the tree to find out how old it was', Maya (2nd Class).
The students noticed the stumps of the spruce trees that had been harvested, and were able to estimate the age of these trees. On the way out, the students saw all the piles of wood from the tree harvesting. We explained that this wood will be processed into wood products which can be used in the construction of housing as well as fencing and pallets. We also gave the students some trees to take back with them to plant at their school.
A big thank you to Edmondstown NS a for helping us plant the trees and we look forward to going back again to visit the site with you once the trees have grown a bit. Cruagh Woods is one of several sites being replanted with native woodland this season as part of the Dublin Mountains Makeover.