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Tree planting scheme aims to boost Ireland's forest coverage

A mass tree planting is set to take place across Ireland next February
Paul Ainsworth

PLANS are under way to plant a million trees across Ireland in 24 hours as part of a root and branch bid to improve the island’s reputation as one of the least forested regions of Europe.

The One Million Trees in One Day charity initiative aims for the mass-planting of saplings to take place on both sides of the border on February 11, 2017, and farmers and landowners are being urged to get involved to help boost Ireland’s tree population.

Ireland shares the title of the least-forested country in Europe with the Netherlands – both countries have just 11 percent of their surface area covered with trees.

However, the Dutch are planning a tree-planting blitz, with plans to increase woodland there by as much as 25 percent with the aim of reducing carbon emissions.

Now Ireland’s tree numbers will see a growth spurt with a campaign supported by the Woodland Trust.

Planters will be offered 50 saplings each – enough to create a small forest or hedgerow – and are available for an application fee at www.onemilliontreesinoneday.com.

Project co-ordinator Imogen Rabone said: “Both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are very short on native trees and woodland. We want to help people plant their own trees in both rural and urban areas, and with a focus on small sites.

 

“During its pilot phase, 2013 to 2016, the project has helped to plant over 650,000 native trees at more than 3,000 sites right across the island of Ireland. We’re now pulling out all the stops to reach the big target: the planting of one million trees in one day.”

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