Wild About Wildlife: For the forests of the future

Albert Nolan

Reporter:

Albert Nolan

Wild About Wildlife: For the forests of the future

Sowing seeds in King's Island

DURING the mid-term break An Taisce Living Limerick, worked with communities across Limerick and helped sow over 5,000 native tree seeds. When these mature they will have a positive effect on climate change, and also create habitats for countless birds, insects and plants.

The community involvement was fantastic and all of the participants will bring their awareness, skills and knowledge back into their own gardens, Tidy Towns groups, schools and organisations. Many communities are also starting their own tree nursery and planting trees is something we need to be investing in every year.

We started off on a beautiful bank holiday Monday in Curraghchase camp site. We set up outside the café, and the place was buzzing. The seed sowing was a truly international affair. Locals mixed with kids from California (these lucky oaks are going on a European tour) and all learned how to grow trees.

One lady from Holland keeps a conker in her pocket by her heart. This she claims helps maintain her good health. She was delighted when we gave her an acorn with the explanation that it symbolizes long life.

The next day we joined Nicker Tidy Towns. The hall was full of busy hands which helped sow hawthorn, crab apple and acorns.

Groups like Tidy Towns have a very beneficial impact on biodiversity, and when their trees are big enough they will be planted out in the community.

In the afternoon we joined Limerick Mental Health Association. Being outdoors is such an important part of looking after our physical and mental health. Regular contact with trees, soil and birds helps lift our moods and puts us in contact with nature.

The day was lovely so we headed across to the green oasis at the junction of Parnell and Sexton Streets. Two tall London plane dominate the park and these are least 100 hundred years old. We examined the rough bark that was full of the eggs of spiders and other larva. Hungry birds during the winter will forage along the bark, and search for food. The group planted a selection of trees. Crab apple, hawthorn berries and native oaks were all proudly taken home.

Newcastle West Demesne has some amazing trees and the community has grown up under their shade and protection. This was reflected in a large attendance and the enthusiasm has been carried on after the workshop. While out walking many people are now keeping a close watch on the ground for any seeds that can be sown.

King’s Island was the next stop and with St Mary’s Aid, Living Limerick has been running a basic introduction to landscaping with a focus on pollinator. We sowed two beds in the allotment with over a thousand acorns. These will be brought on for the next two years and used in suitable locations around the community. There was plenty of help from the landscaping group, kids from the local community and a group from the Brothers of Charity.

Broadford Arboretum was developed in a disused quarry around 20 years ago. It has now developed into a diverse woodland that is used by the community and visiting schools who are learning about trees and wildlife.

We sowed some Spanish chestnuts, holly and took cuttings from ivy. One of the more unusual species was the wayfaring tree. It got its unusual name from been planted along the sides of long distance roads and trails.

The end of a busy week saw us in Murroe parish hall. With the help of local scouts, parents and the local community we planted dozens of native tree seeds. A stroll through the nearby woods revealed some colourful fungi.

Thanks to all the communities for participating in sowing over 5,000 native tree seeds.

For More

albert.nolan@rocketmail.com or 089 4230502.