Cork children can take a bow heading into National Biodiversity Week, they are setting an un-bee-lievable example as they round off their successful season of tree planting. This week they will add Fermoy’s 560 new trees to the U.N.-backed “Plant-for-the-Planet” trillion tree initiative with an avenue of ten Lime Trees on Fermoy’s Link Road.
The collapse of insect and wildlife has been in the news this week due to the report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services issued in Paris on May 6th. “Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history – and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely”, warned this landmark publication. Children have shown their concern in weekly Friday protests following the call to action of Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg. Tidy Towns leader Ken Barry paid tribute to his tree-mendous team who have been supporting local school children in their desire to protect their planet and provide for nature solutions making provision for Biological Diversity.
The planting parties this week with Bishop Murphy and Gaelscoil de hÍde schoolchildren will be preceded by a presentation by Orla Farrell, Easy Treesie project founder on the importance of tree planting for capturing carbon dioxide, insulating against sounds of traffic and managing drought and flooding. Cork County Council is supporting this workshop for the children so that they will understand the importance of nurturing our young trees and cherishing the mature ones. President Michael D. Higgins is patron of the charity Crann – Trees for Ireland which supports this children’s global environmental initiative.
“What a great pleasure to be back in Cork planting an avenue of lovely limes on the approach road to Gaelscoil de hÍde.”, said Orla, a member of the “Crann – Trees for Ireland” board. This variety was specially selected by the Fermoy Beekeepers who sponsored the first two in the series, planted for National Tree Week as the school children worked away on 550 trees on Corrin Hill with the Fermoy Tidy Towns volunteers.
The “Earth Day” 4 limes were planted on Easter Monday- sponsored by Peadar Collins of the Irish Tree Center in local Kildorrery (who incidentally has already planted 1,000 trees in the town of Fermoy!) Peadar is also proud to be a director of Crann – Trees for Ireland. “The easy treesie – Crann project is delighted to be sponsoring the final lime trees on the Avenue. We are also preparing for World Environment Day in June which highlights the importance of tackling air pollution; what better way than by trapping traffic fuel emissions with deciduous leaves, a tested solution to clean the air and make Fermoy even more beautiful!”, said Orla.
The location of the Avenue is on the Link Road (opposite Texaco) on the Cork road at the south side of Fermoy. “Cork children have been an inspiration”, says Orla “After our amazing time with Scoil Clochar Mhuire Carrigtwohill who invited RTE’s Today Show to join our Harper’s Island Wetland Centre project we have managed to reach 15,024 trees planted by children! We will be matching the trees on this avenue through our joint SymmeTREE initiative with an equivalent amount of trees through Bill Liao of Cork’s superb WeForest.org”
The native trees on Corrin Hill are being supplemented in Fermoy by the lime trees which are known for their grandeur and beauty as well as their ability to be able to live to the ripe old age of 1,000 years and beyond. This species has nativized in Ireland over the centuries. This season’s varieties have been selected to make provision for Fermoy’s future climate and to ensure resilience as several of our native species such as the Ash and Elm have had to be struck from the planting list due to disease.
Local schools work hard to maintain their International Green Flag status and this initiative will help towards retaining these awards as well as making progress towards continuing Fermoy’s Tidy Towns and IBAL success. “It is a pleasure to work with children and their community to enhance this magnificent town”, said Orla who is a teacher and regular visitor to Fermoy with fond memories of childhood summers spent at her mother, Brid Kenneally’s home in Castlehyde.
“We are delighted to be affording these children the chance to be stewards of their own local environment, as part of a countrywide wave of planting with children this week, from Cork to Carlingford Lough” she said. The easy treesie-Crann project team extends an invitation to local volunteers including parents and grandparents of the school children who wish to join them on the day to assist.