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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

12 Resources Supporting Ireland's Native Trees

Folks have asked me which organisations support the growing, care and use of broad leaved woodlands in Ireland - so here are my own top 12 resources that I know, use and support.

There are others, and maybe you can list and link to your favourites in the comment box below.

Click on the headings
of these 12 resources
to open their web sites
in new browser tabs ...

Native Woodland Trust

Based in Kilteel, Co. Kildare, perhaps the most dedicated to increasing native woodland in Ireland. Quite a new organisation but a passionate one. Their main work is to raise funds and actively increase the planting of new native tree woodlands as well as individual native trees where people will host them. Of course, once planted they help to preserve and look after them.

Cost of involvement is membership and/or tree sponsoring.
Membership, includes quarterly magazine, is scaled  €20 single to €300 group rate
Sponsoring a tree is €34 per tree

The Woodland League

Based is Scarriff, Co. Clare, within the East Clare Community Co[op. Describing themselves as "Dedicated to restoring the relationship between people and their native woodlands", they are largely an information, media and lobbying operation. It is worth getting into the habit of visiting their web site and Facebook page to be in touch with what is happening with and at woodlands in Ireland. Woodland League also have some interest in overseas forestry so they also inform on that too.

There is no membership cost as this is currently an information and hub for all things native woodland in Ireland and beyond. It looks like they are looking at ways to finance themselves as, like anything like this, to be effective there are trading costs to be covered.

The Tree Council Of Ireland

Based in Rathfarnham, Dublin, the Tree Council is like a bridge between organisations that support public access and community forestry and community tree planting with the Irish government. They describe themselves as "fostering a tree culture in Ireland through action and awareness, educating the public about trees, facilitating networking, and be a representative voice for tree culture and tree promotion".

It is The Tree Council that initiate National Tree Week in spring and National Tree Day in autumn each year. Their information targets the young and schools mainly but there is plenty of information for adults too. Very informative web site.

The Tree Council also support the National Tree Heritage Register,
and I will publish another feature on this soon.

Their funding comes from sales of books and posters to the public,
family plant a tree schemes costing €50 a tree, that is visitable,
and sponsorships from businesses.
Some businesses have entered into plant a tree schemes matched to how much business the public gives them. Companies currently involved in this are Vodafone and Ikea.

Crann

Crann is Irish for Tree. Formed in 1986 with a mission to re-leaf Ireland by planting and protecting trees plus provide public information to provide more awareness about trees, and arouse more passion. Famous now for having Ireland's President Higgins as one of its patrons. The web site information is not as abundant as on the Tree Council site as they try to contain information within their quarterly magazine which the web site seems to mainly promote. The web site is also a good reference for ongoing woodland activities though, and there is a good section on tree planting and growing.

Their magazine is excellent and is distributed within membership.
Crann annual membership is scaled from €25 for singles to €100 for groups.

One Million Trees In One Day

I am not sure where these folks are based but this not-for-profit, cross-border initiative seems to be the teaming up of the Forestry FoundationGreen Belt forestry management, and None So Hardy native trees supplier. Their goal is to plant a million young native trees at many different sites across both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland within 24 hours.on a date, yet to be decided, sometime between late November and mid March 2013.

They are still recruiting sites and monitoring them for suitability ready for the big day. They are currently looking for sites that can plant just 10 trees. I am sure that after planting we will see a name change to cover the management of this mass plantation, or keep the name to do the same the following winter.

Freewill donations are sought for their ongoing expenses.

Forest Friends

Information and lobbying web site based in Ireland, but cover worldwide forestry issues. Their web site is still under developed but their Facebook Page is quite active. I can see great things developing from them.

Their funding is from donations and merch sales, but they do not have an online utility for either yet.
For these people ... watch this space!

Living Tree Educational Foundation

A kind of esoteric, shamanic, druidic approach to native trees, based in Sneem, Co. Kerry and I suspect founded by  Roderic Knowles who currently has a dream of setting up the "University Of The Living Tree" to provide a woodland and trees education based on a similar level to the druidic "Order Of Druids, Bards and Ovates" course.

Roderic is joined by Harper Stone from Colorado, a treelore storyteller who created and maintains their excellent web site and runs a storytelling based tree camp in summer. Also in the team is Elly van Veen who teaches Tree Esoterics where she combines her holistic therapies and medicine skills with woodland groves.

It looks like their funding will be from the University Of The Living Tree courses and at present seem to be looking to form a community to administer this and make it happen. Meanwhile their web site is very informative and an extremely pleasant one to navigate.

NAMA to Nature

Perhaps the best operation I will list here. No web site, just a Facebook Page, following the passions of Serena Brabazon, daughter of the Earl Of Meath of Kilruddery House, and Andrew Legge, who have a mission to beautify the ugly 600 ghost estates left by fleeing property developers. They are planting 100s to 1000s of native trees within the grounds of these properties. Technically, this is squatting, but nobody seems to be getting in their way, with some people of "authority" and "bureaucracy" actually being supportive.

NAMA to Nature do not have any mechanical donation, merch or volunteer programme to fund them. The best anyone can do is Like their Facebook page and make an effort to keep up with their work and see where you could help, when help is needed.

Coillte - Woodland Restoration In Ireland

Some folks may be shocked I included this, but yes the government forestry service is actually doing some valuable forest restoration and expansion where it can. Coillte is not just a spruce planting, give me the money, operation, though spruce is still the leader. This narrow branch of Coillte is doing amazing work and their web site here is precise and very useful information, especially for tree identification and care, plus for locations of their work to visit and share.

Most impressive is their presentation of what is challenging native woodland and what to do about it.

Funding is obviously from their commercial forestry profits, sales of merchandise and public tax money where needed. Do not dismiss this site and service. Very useful.

Future Forests

I will never stop praising these people. Based near Bantry in Co. Cork, I purchased well over 200 native tree plants for our Tree Labyrinth here at Carrowcrory. Most of them have survived and are healthy while the other 100 bought from other local nurseries withered away. I have since replaced these with my own cultivated plants.

I am surprised that Future Forests do not run courses and awareness events. They almost entirely focus on the cultivation and sales of quality native trees with lots of info provided when purchased.

The only activity I see they do outside of cultivation is re-forestation of Ethiopia. Their nursery is a wonder to visit if you pass by.

Amma Woodland Project

Mata Amritanandamayi, or Amma (Mother) as she is known, has become world famous as the hugging guru, or hugging mother who has hugged over 28 million people with the message that the Divine is everything and that Love is her religion.

An organisation has built up around Amma, that has several ministry divisions.
One of these is Green Friends Ireland, who have set up and manage the Amma Woodlant Project currently active near Corofin, Co. Clare. With this project barren Burren land that was once ancient forest, is being re-forested again.

Their funding is from freewill donations, and they ask this is paid in multiples of €10.

Bards In The Woods

Now I cannot forget us :-)

In case you have forgotten, here are the current policies.

To encourage more people to visit more public access woodlands of Ireland more often

To encourage forestry economy to be run more from income from tourism and leisure enterprises than solely from forestry cropping and harvesting.

To encourage people to share woodlands with others and do this through sharing of words, poems and stories which may inspire others to creatively write and share with a listening audience, which is an incredible esteem builder.

To encourage shared picnics from as much food and drink as possible that come from local sources that supports local growers and local food producers.

To support green prescription affirmations and commitments, to encourage presence, awareness and consumption of what we call the Boladh na Síoga (bower na sheega), the Breath of The Fae, the Sidhe, scientifically known as Phytoncides, compounds that are now known to relax anxiety, improve sleep patterns and even being looked at closely for affect on cancer cells.

To encourage and support local community broad leaved tree plantations with a vision that nobody in Ireland is dependent on cars to get to a woodland, that everyone has native tree woodland they can walk to or cycle to or get public transport to easily.

To encourage much more planting of the almost extinct Irish wild apple tree species, once an essential food source in ancient Ireland and a subject of many bardic tales.

To encourage much more planting of forest food trees and shrubs to serve more fruits, nuts and edible fungi.

To encourage other voluntary broad leaved native tree planting where opportunities are available.

To encourage that woodlands are not just for taking the children, the dogs or both but are wonderful places for friends to share, lovers to go, and for single people to contemplate and enjoy too.

To create and distribute information and digital apps on all of the above.

Funding is from donations and publications

I'll finish this with a video clip that is a simple message
of why we need our native forests back in Ireland ...


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