National Tree Week ~ 6 – 13 March 2016 ~ ‘We Love Trees’

???ESB Tree Week launched today with a survey of parents that reveals almost a third of children in Ireland (31%) have never climbed a tree and 1 in 10 have never even visited a forest or wooded area. The findings of the survey also reveal that parents claim nearly half (48%) of Irish children spend more time in front of a screen than outdoors. Highlighted in the results was a generational divide, with 74% of parents saying they used to climb trees “often” or “all the time” when they were children, yet they say only 5% of Irish kids climb trees “all the time” today.

Mental Health and Wellbeing:

At a time when mindfulness and meditation are increasing priorities for families across Ireland due to work-life imbalances, stress and financial pressure, trees are proven to have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing. The research backed this up with 82% of the respondents commenting that walking through a forest had a calming effect on them.

National Tree Week – 6th – 13th March

Tree Week runs from March 6th – 13th and aims to reignite the nation’s love of trees through hundreds of events all over Ireland. People are encouraged to visit www.welovetrees.ie to find out about local events happening in their area and to find ways to get outside to learn, grow and enjoy trees.  The event will be launched  in the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin at 2pm on Sunday March 6th, 2016. With a wide range of events from tree planting to poetry readings there is something for everyone during Tree Week 2016.  National Tree Week is an annual week long fun festival about trees organised by The Tree Council of Ireland.  In celebration of National Tree Week individuals, families, schools and local communities are encouraged to participate in and support events taking place around the country during the week. Coillte will also supply 15,000 saplings throughout the week long event.

Kilbora Woods, Ferns, Co. Wexford.

Kilbora Woods, Ferns, Co. Wexford.

By doing something as simple as planting a tree, everyone can play their part in making a difference to our efforts to live more sustainably, bringing about huge  benefits, many of which will have long term impact in times of climate uncertainty.

Despite great advances in the past 100 years, Ireland remains one of the least wooded countries in Europe with only 11% of our land planted with trees compared to the European average of 40%.  Ireland has agreed a target to increase our forest cover to 17% by 2035.  This initiative will provide new jobs, build our forestry industry and help improve our environment.

On a global level, trees play a significant role in mitigating against climate change by soaking up carbon emissions and in the sustainable wood resource they provide.  Trees also improve air quality, providing us with clean air to breathe, and reduce the effects of flash flooding and soil erosion.  They give shade to make streets and buildings cooler in summer and improve the energy efficiency of buildings by providing shelter and reducing heat loss.  Without trees, life on earth would be intolerable.

Riverdale Water Mill on the shores of Lough Neagh

Riverdale Water Mill on the shores of Lough Neagh

Get involved!

It’s easy to get involved as an individual or as a group.  The Tree Council of Ireland invites you to organise one or more events for the week to celebrate trees. As well as tree planting ceremonies especially those that involve the planting of native Irish trees to help compensate for loss of natural habitat and in turn benefit our birds, bees, pollinators and all wildlife the range of events can include forest and woodland walks, nature trails, workshops, woodturning displays, talks, tree hugging, tree climbing etc. –  the choice is yours!

Rowan trees planted along the approach road by Ferns Tidy Towns

Rowan trees planted along the approach road by Ferns Tidy Towns

What can you do to celebrate National Tree Week?

  • Check out the National Tree Week events programme and take part in an event near you.
  • Celebrate National Tree Week in your school by planting a tree or in the classroom by drawing pictures or making leaf prints or bark rubbings of trees, read or write poems or stories about trees, learn how to measure the height and spread of a tree, produce a class drama about trees.
  • Encourage your local residents association, tidy towns group, youth club, sports club or other local organisation to get their members involved in a tree planting or tree maintenance project (eg. clean-up a local woodland) in your area.
  • Volunteer in a local community tree-planting event. You’ll meet new people and make a difference in your community.
  • Organise a walk or trail to showcase and tell the stores of any large, unusual or historic trees in your community.
  • Commemorate an event of significance in your community by planting a tree and organise a community celebration or get together to mark the occasion.
  • Celebrate the week in a personal way by planting a tree yourself in your own garden.
  • Take some time to read a book about trees or find our more about their characteristics, their uses, folklore etc. Learn to identify trees in your neighbourhood.
  • Enjoy the outdoors. Visit a local forest or park or take a nature walk and enjoy observing and being in the company of trees.
  • Those in the business community could sponsor a community tree project.
Enjoy walking and exploring in the beautiful woodlands

Enjoy walking and exploring in the beautiful woodlands

Even the smallest garden can accommodate a tree!

Just because your garden is small, don’t think that you can’t have trees. One of the advantages of planting trees is that there is a species to fit every location, regardless of size. Many people with small gardens only have space for one tree so choosing the right one is important. When planting in small enclosed spaces, it is advisable to plant trees that have a small crown spread. Eventual height is an important factor too. Even small ornamental trees may, over time, reach a height of 6-7m or more. If you only have room for one tree ideally look for one with more than one feature or season of interest such as coloured bark or fruit or autumn colour following on from flowers.

National Tree Week 2016

Some Native Tree Species to consider for Small Gardens.

Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) – Slow growing evergreen with shredding brown bark and dark green, leathery leaves. Clusters of pinkish white, pitcher-shaped flowers and red strawberry-like fruits are borne together in late autumn and winter. Height 5m.

Spindle (Euonymus europaeus) – Although inconspicuous for much of the year, this small tree is very showy in autumn and early winter when the leaves turn blazing scarlet and masses of rose-red capsules split open to reveal orange seeds. Height 4m.

Silver Birch (Betula pendula) – Distinctive silvery-white, peeling bark that becomes marked with black, rugged cracks as it gets older. In spring, yellow-brown male catkins appear and in late autumn the diamond-shaped, bright green foliage turns yellow before falling. Height 12m. Betula pendula ‘Youngii’ is a weeping form that develops a mushroom-headed habit with branches reaching to the ground.

Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) – Choose the fastigiate form. Leaves turn deep, fiery red and yellow in autumn. Sprays of white flowers cover the tree in late spring, followed by bunches of red berries in autumn. Height 8m.

Yew (Taxas baccata) – Choose the columnar or fastigiate form. Slow growing coniferous tree forming a dense, compact column. Height 3m.

Recycling saves trees!

School Recycling Saves TreesTrees are essential to our world and offer a wide range of benefits to our environment so for the week that’s in it we should also remember that recycling saves trees! Each ton of recycled paper    can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution.

 

What are your plans to celebrate National tree Week 2016?

Chooseday’s Choice! ~ Wood Fuel or Fossil Fuel?

Where does YOUR  energy go?

Fossil fuels are derivatives of plant and animal fossils that are million of years old. These are primarily formed from the remains of the decayed plants and animals. The three fuel sources coal, natural gas and oil help to meet the energy and electricity demands of today’s world.  Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy resources. Their supply is limited so they will eventually run out. Fossil fuels do not renew themselves, while fuels such as wood can be renewed endlessly.

Pollution is a major disadvantage that is formed due to fossil fuels as they release carbon dioxide when they burn, which adds to the greenhouse effect and increases global warming.  Coal and oil release sulphor  dioxide gas when they burn, which causes breathing problems for living creatures and contributes to acid rain.

 

You Choose!

You Choose - Wood Fuel or Fossil Fuel

You Choose – Wood Fuel or Fossil Fuel

Wood Fuel:

Using wood fuel instead of peat, coal and gas to heat our homes is a sustainable choice, and makes a positive contribution to the environment. Wood is ‘CO2 neutral’, the amount of CO2 wood releases during burning is equal to that which is absorbed during growth. In contrast, burning fossil fuels releases the global warming gas carbon dioxide, as well as other damaging pollutants. Wood fuel also takes just 5-20 years to grow, whereas peat and coal were formed over hundreds of thousands of years.

WFQA – Wood Fuel Quality Assurance:

wfqaThe Wood Fuel Quality Assurance (WFQA) scheme provides a simple but reliable way for consumers to purchase quality wood fuels that are accurately described, meet the supplier’s stated product specifications, and are produced in compliance with EUTR (EU Timber Regulation) ensuring sustainably produced woodfuels.

 

Modern, highly efficient stoves and boilers make wood fuel a practical and sustainable option for today’s lifestyle!

 

 

 

Hydropower generates electricity at off-grid farm

A family living in a remote part of the North York Moors are proving that hydropower really works.

The National Trust owned farm is situated seven miles from the nearest town, surrounded by moorland, has no neighbours, no mains gas, no mains water and no mains electricity. The farmhouse was originally built in 1707 and when the family moved in in 1995 there was no central heating, electric kettle, toaster, fridge, washing machine – in fact there was no electrical mod cons of any description. Bottled gas was used for the cooker and a diesel generator operated  in the evenings only.

The generator was expensive to run because of the cost of diesel (approx £5,000 per year),  spare parts for the generator because it was running for so many hours every day, maintenance, filters etc .

Adding the clear panes before covering the hydropower turbine

The family contacted the electricity board about installing an electricity supply but because their farm was so remote and they were surrounded by moors the cables would have to go underground and this was just too expensive and would also have had an adverse affect on the landscape.

The stream running pass the farmhouse made hydro power seem the obvious choice for power generation but the shallow gradient of the stream initially caused problems because at the time they couldn’t find a suitable turbine for the low head site.

BonfieldGhyll2p

Photo Credit: Mannpower Consulting Ltd

They then heard about the Archimedean Screw hydropower turbine which operates at low heads heads from 1m – 10m.  Mann Power Consulting Ltd brought the Archimedean Screw turbine into the UK for the first time, and has been at the forefront of supplying this equipment for hydro generation projects since 2004.  After visiting an Archimedean Screw  hydropower project  the family decided that this was indeed a viable option for them to eventually generate electricity.

The North York Moors National Park Authority had also just started a sustainable development fund and the families’ landlord, the National Trust, were keen to tap into that. In 2007 Mannpower Consulting Ltd were  engaged to design and install the Archimedean Screw.

Photo Credit: Mannpower Consulting Ltd

After carrying out a feasibility study it was decided that the best option for the site was an enclosed compact Archimedean Screw hydro turbine as it would not adversely affect property downstream or wildlife. Each Archimedean Screw hydropower turbine is manufactured to be site specific. The enclosed compact allowed the turbine to be positioned underground, minimising its impact on the environment.

Three clear panels enable the screw to be monitored and also allow the workings to be visible to the public. This also allows it to be used to educate the public about hydropower and alternative energy sources.

The Archimedean Screw hydropower turbine blending into the landscape

Rated at 1.0kW and a capacity of 100 l/s and an estimated annual output of 3,500kWh the hydro turbine is predicted to save in excess of 1 tonne of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) annually. An underground cable connects the generator to the control panel in the farmhouse via the batteries and inverter located in the store near the farmhouse. The family can now operate appliances for their home especially a fridge freezer and lights at night – necessities they couldn’t have while using a diesel generator.

Extra batteries were added to the storage so that they can, if fully charged, power the farm for almost a week in the event of no water flow. The family have also installed a solar pv panel to boost their electricity and also a solar thermal panel to supply their hot water needs.

Green energy has made a huge difference to the lives of this family. Is this something you would consider doing?

 

 

 

Earth Day 2014 – Stand up for the future you deserve!

Earth Day 2014 is the 44th, since its inception in 1970, which was widely viewed as marking the beginning of the contemporary environmental movement.

Every year on April 22, over a billion people in 190 countries take action for Earth Day. Like Earth Days of the past, Earth Day 2014 will focus on the unique environmental challenges of our time. As the world’s population migrates to cities, and as the bleak reality of climate change becomes increasingly clear, the need to create sustainable communities is more important than ever.

Earth Day 2014

Earth Day 2014 will seek to do just that through its global theme: Green Cities. With smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public, we can transform our cities and forge a sustainable future. Nothing is more powerful than the collective action of a billion people.

Renewable and Sustainable Energy

Renewable and Sustainable Energy

As the global organizer behind Earth Day, Earth Day Network creates tools and resources for you to get involved with Earth Day in your community. The environment faces a multitude of challenges today. From climate change to species extinction, our planet and its inhabitants are continually facing man-made threats that must be averted. Lend your voice to a campaign, stand up for the future we deserve and help to work toward a sustainable future.

Earth Day 2014 Greening Cities limited edition poster

Earth Day 2014 Green Cities Campaign limited edition poster

Together we can make a difference!

Source: http://www.earthday.org/

National Tree Week 2 – 8 March 2014 ~ The Sound of Trees!

The theme for National Tree Week 2014 is ‘The Sound of Trees’ ~ ‘Fuaim na gCrann’

The launch of National Tree Week takes place in Powerscourt Estate Gardens,  Enniskerry, Co.Wicklow on Sunday 2nd March 2014.  National Tree Week is an annual week long fun festival about trees organised by The Tree Council of Ireland.  In celebration of National Tree Week individuals, families, schools and local communities are encouraged to participate in and support events taking place around the country during the week.

National Tree Week 2014 - trees at Eco Evolution, Wexford

National Tree Week 2014 – trees at Eco Evolution, Wexford

By doing something as simple as planting a tree, everyone can play their part in making a difference to our efforts to live more sustainably, bringing about huge  benefits, many of which will have long term impact in times of climate uncertainty. 

Despite great advances in the past 100 years, Ireland remains one of the least wooded countries in Europe with only 11% of our land planted with trees compared to the European average of 40%.  Ireland has agreed a target to increase our forest cover to 17% by 2035.  This initiative will provide new jobs, build our forestry industry and help improve our environment.

On a global level, trees play a significant role in mitigating against climate change by soaking up carbon emissions and in the sustainable wood resource they provide.  Trees also improve air quality, providing us with clean air to breathe, and reduce the effects of flash flooding and soil erosion.  They give shade to make streets and buildings cooler in summer and improve the energy efficiency of buildings by providing shelter and reducing heat loss.  Without trees, life on earth would be intolerable.

Get involved!

It’s easy to get involved as an individual or as a group.  The Tree Council of Ireland invites you to organise one or more events for the week to celebrate trees. As well as tree planting ceremonies, the range of events can include forest and woodland walks, nature trails, workshops, woodturning displays, talks, tree hugging, tree climbing etc. the choice is yours.

Ferns Tidy Towns Group planting a copse of trees

Ferns Tidy Towns Group planting a copse of trees

What can you do to celebrate National Tree Week?

  • Check out the National Tree Week events programme and take part in an event near you.
  • Celebrate National Tree Week in your school by planting a tree or in the classroom by drawing pictures or making leaf prints or bark rubbings of trees, read or write poems or stories about trees, learn how to measure the height and spread of a tree, produce a class drama about trees.
  • Encourage your local residents association, tidy towns group, youth club, sports club or other local organisation to get their members involved in a tree planting or tree maintenance project (eg. clean-up a local woodland) in your area.
  • Volunteer in a local community tree-planting event. You’ll meet new people and make a difference in your community.
  • Organise a walk or trail to showcase and tell the stores of any large, unusual or historic trees in your community.
  • Commemorate an event of significance in your community by planting a tree and organise a community celebration or get together to mark the occasion.
  • Celebrate the week in a personal way by planting a tree yourself in your own garden.
  • Take some time to read a book about trees or find our more about their characteristics, their uses, folklore etc. Learn to identify trees in your neighbourhood.
  • Enjoy the outdoors. Visit a local forest or park or take a nature walk and enjoy observing and being in the company of trees.
  • Those in the business community could sponsor a community tree project.
Woodland area of native trees at Scoil Naomh Maodhóg, Ferns

Woodland area of native tree saplings at Scoil Naomh Maodhóg, Ferns

Trees are essential to our world and offer a wide range of benefits to our environment so for the week that’s in it we should also remember that recycling saves trees! Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution.

Celebrate with Gorey Library

If you live in or around Gorey, Co. Wexford why not celebrate National Tree Week with Gorey Library.  Email your photograph of trees before and or after the recent storms to display digitally in the library. If you wish to be accredited please place your name digitally on your photograph. The Digital Photographic Exhibition will run for the full week of National Tree Week. Please email photographs to stephanie.black@wexfordcoco.ie