River restoration helped by recycling Christmas trees

Recycled Christmas trees are being used for river restoration in north Cork.

The IRD Duhallow rural development company accepts trees delivered to its main office in Newmarket, Co Cork.

They are used to help reduce river bank erosion, pinned to willow stakes along river banks endangered by floods.

The trees reduce the force of the flood water which can erode valuable farmland.

Natural vegetation can grow between the Christmas tree branches, and in time the river bank becomes more stable — particularly important in rivers where freshwater pearl mussel and salmon are endangered by silt from erosion.

The technique was imported from the USA, and has been successful on a number of rivers in Ireland.

In IRD Duhallow’s North West Cork and East Kerry area of operation, birds such as wrens and wagtail have increased, feeding on insects washed into the branches of the trees after big floods.

Trees will be accepted between 10am and 5pm Monday to Friday; plastic trees are not accepted, and decorations must be removed before delivery.

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