Hundreds of trees for park under €50k landscaping scheme

Hundreds of trees will be planted in one of Cork’s largest parks as part of a €50,000 landscaping scheme.

Hundreds of trees for park under €50k landscaping scheme

Cork County Council outlined the work in Ballincollig Regional Park in response to criticism from some park users after a major tree-felling operation.

Separately, the council confirmed that it plans to appoint consultants soon to assess the park’s historic weir, which collapsed last month.

It will take some time for their report to be completed, amid warnings the repair bill is likely to cost several hundred thousand euro.

Meanwhile, two large areas on the River Walk side of the 134-acre park have been cleared of excessive Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) growth — a non-native species which is classified as invasive.

The two felled areas had not been cleared for about 20 years. Council officials said the number of trees had been increasing year-on-year, and if left unchecked, the areas would have become completely overgrown.

The area was prepared for replanting of some 200 native trees, and work is now under way and is expected to take several months.

The new trees are semi-mature, 10 to 15-year-olds which were bought from Nangle Niesen Horticultural Services in Aherla.

They were intended for planting in housing estates which were never built due to the property crash.

“Over the next coming months hundreds of trees will be planted in the park to ensure the future of all species of native trees and to enhance and protect the biodiversity of the park for future generations to enjoy,” council engineer Vincent Florish said.

The council also plans to further open up the recently cleared River Walk area to provide better river views, including the spectacular view of the arches of historic Inniscarra Bridge.

Timber fencing will be erected along the walk, similar to the new picnic area overlooking the bridge.

Timber posts have also been installed to support 30 oak trees which will be planted in the field where there is currently only one.

Irish bluebells and other Irish perennials will be planted at various locations, and ferns and other native vegetation will be encouraged. Wild flower meadows have been seeded and are being nurtured to allow them establish. All seeds used are Irish species and should begin to flower in April.

“We understand this is not a rose garden type park and we have no intention in turning this park into such,” Mr Florish said.

Three dead beech trees along the park’s popular Beech Walk have also been felled, after it was found they were rotting from the inside and posed a risk.

Council workers cut one of the beech trees to expose the decayed core so people can see why they were felled.

Saplings taken from healthy beech trees are being nurtured with a view to replanting them later to continue future generations of the same family of trees in the park.

The latest replanting scheme follows on from a major replanting scheme of around 150 10-year-old trees in the park last year, most of which were planted around the perimeter of new paths.

Cork County Council’s nursery section is carrying out all the planting works.

As part of the planting and landscaping programme, the council is also investing €340,000 in a playground, which it is hoped will open in April.

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