New Community Woodlands
This month we were delighted to meet some neighbours of a new native woodland that we planted in South East Clare earlier this year. We held a drop-in event for anyone interested to come by for a chat and learn about this new woodland in their community.
Local artist Chelsea Canavan joined us and led some nature arts and crafts activities, encouraging everyone to use their imagination and creativity. Once this woodland starts to mature in a few years, it will be open for anyone to visit and enjoy. Those who came along added to a ‘woodland timeline’ to draw how the woodland might develop over the years and what they might like to see there.
Pat and Siobhan who live next to the newly planted site were among the neighbours who came along to meet us. They said ‘It was an absolutely lovely day, learning about the different trees planted. While the woodland is still very young, we and our neighbours are looking forward to watching it grow and to any other events that will take place.’ The neighbours are excited about the education potential for this new woodland and the possibility for schools and community groups to get involved. They also feel that it will be something that brings the community together as it will provide a space to meet.
This site is about 9 hectares (over 20 acres) in total and has been planted with over 20,000 native trees. Species include oak, rowan, alder, hawthorn and birch, with different parts of the site planted with different woodland communities, depending on the soil and drainage. This is one of several sites that were planted with native species over the last tree-planting season, and we will be planting more in the next planting season from November through to April when the soil temperatures drop.
We recently visited another site in Co. Longford which was planted with native species in early 2021. Although still in it’s early stages, some of the trees are over 6 foot high the birch are in the lead, with oak, hazel and wild cherry not far behind! We look forward to watching these native woodlands grow and develop into beautiful natural habitats, creating space for nature and local communities.