More than 600,000 native trees are to be planted across 1,500 hectares of bogland that is no longer used for peat production.
The woodland project announced today will focus on growing a mix of native Irish trees such as downy birch, scots pine, alder and other broadleaves like hazel and holly, on Bord na Móna land in Offaly, Laois, Westmeath and Tipperary over the next three years.
The project, a collaboration involving Coillte and Bord na Móna, is part of the government’s Climate Action Plan which has committed to planting 440m trees by 2040 - that’s 22m trees a year for the next 20-years.
Bord na Móna also plans to rehabilitate some 35,000 hectares of its peatlands by 2025.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Richard Bruton said our land is one of our most powerful tools in responding to the climate challenge.
Not only are woodlands crucial to absorb carbon emissions, but they are essential for preserving Ireland’s biodiversity.
Separately, University College Cork (UCC) will host the first tour in living memory of its historic tree collection next Tuesday as part of the university’s Community Week.
The tour, to be led by UCC Plant Scientist Dr Eoin Lettice, will feature some of the most magnificent specimens in its 2,500 collection of 120-different species, which date back to 1849.
“The award-winning green campus is characterised by these botanical giants that make UCC one of the most beautiful campuses in Ireland. It is great to showcase our trees and let them take centre stage,” Dr Lettice said.
Among the landmark trees on campus are the beautiful weeping willows which dominate the main approach to UCC through the ceremonial gates on Western Road, and a magnificent wingnut, native to Iran, which has been deemed a ‘Champion Tree’ - the largest of its species in Ireland.
The tour will also include the London Plane, near the Boole library, and the college’s famous pair of giant redwoods - the tallest trees on campus which were most likely donated to the university by William Crawford of Beamish and Crawford, in the earliest days of the college.
Places are limited and registration is essential at ucctreetour.eventbrite.ie.
More than 50 free events will take part of UCC’s Community Week, including short talks by academics who will present their research in an accessible and engaging format at UCC’s Centre for Executive Education on Lapp’s Quay and a public conversation on the case for urgent climate action with Alicia-Joy O'Sullivan, Ireland's Young Ocean Ambassador.
UCC president Professor Patrick O’Shea said the strength of any university comes from its connection with its community.
“Community Week is about celebrating the work we do together with our communities to help create a healthier, more inclusive and sustainable society,” he said.
* A full schedule of events and booking details are available on ucc.ie/communityweek.