The first-ever Shankill Patagonia “Power Plant” challenge was captured on a prizewinning film.

Its theme; “Grow your share of fresh air – plant a tree!”

A Climate Action was held with a very informal filmed tree planting event at Shankhill’s, Stonebridge Park prior to the current COVID 19 restrictions. The Tidy Towns Team with the Science Foundation of Ireland and the Easy Treesie – Crann Project and friends, DLRCC Parks Dept, Coillte, local school Scoil Áine, The GAA, Volunteers from SAGE, Atomic, students of the Law Society of Ireland, Compass Informatics as well as public representatives and many friends and supporters celebrated National Science Week by adding to the already impressive planting programme in this Dublin coastal paradise. Sláinte téama an lae! You can watch the two-minute film here; 

How did the filming come about? Orla Farrell, project leader was a guest of Blackrock Media Company CEO Aileen O Meara when Naomi Klein visited the National Stadium last year. (Aileen has made several films with the project so far, including a popular series with Éanna Ni Lamhna, Tree Council President on the 28 Native Trees of Ireland). At question time, Orla stood up to ask Naomi what was her favourite tree (The Douglas Fir and the Strawberry Tree) and mentioned that she was planting 30,000 saplings with school children for Science Week. After the show there was a book signing for her Climate Crisis book “On Fire” and Orla was approached by American film maker, Emmy-Award-nominated Kate Bradbury. Kate had been intrigued by the story of the Plant-for-the-Planet tree-planting project happening that month in a partnership between Easy Treesie, Crann, The Tree Council of Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland with trees sponsored by state forestry nursery, She offered to come some day when Easy Treesie was carrying out some planting and make a film at no charge to support the great work. As it happened, the Shankill date was in the calendar for a major event and along came Kate with her cameraman and partner, Emre. Kate was in fact on her way to Johannesburg that very day to film for Channel 4 in Kruger Park. She has made many films for National Geographic and her film “Naledi the Baby Elephant” can be seen on Netflix. She has since moved to live back in the U.S. and keeps in touch.  

Read more about the filming in the article below;

The Filming provided great excitement for all at the planting party.  The tree-planters were very fortunate to have the “Heavy Guns” at the event; Senior Parks Superintendent Ruairi O Dulaing not only came to view the proceedings but was persuaded to himself give the lesson on how to plant a bare-root sapling. It was a very thorough and engaging tutorial and the assembled group learned much from his demonstration and had the chance to ask many hard questions, expertly fielded with good humour. All watching really enjoyed his anecdote of a member of the public who contacted the council to complain that her drive was strewn with pink blossom petals. His reply was that she was privileged to have her path ornamented with colourful flowers! Diarmuid McAree, former chief forestry inspector for Ireland and Crann secretary was standing by to – of course – inspect that all was done as it should be. It was thought this master-class in tree planting would make up the main part of the film – but no. The Editor of “We Frame It “productions went for the children and the children alone. They were star performers and natural actors. It took several takes and they were smiling throughout. Orla Farrell who runs the Easy Treesie project was buzzing about making things happen. This film was to be a key instructional tool for children all over the country to learn how to plant a tree all by themselves. She wanted to run it by Star Gardener Mick Burke of Dublin City Council and phoned him on the mobile during the filming. “Have we left anything out?”, she asked as the filming was coming to a close. “The Watering!” said Mick. “But we are almost a sea of mud here, Mick, if it is any wetter we will all slide into the sea”!. “It doesn’t matter, said Mick, who manages Ireland’s greenest pitch-and-putt course and the biodiversity heaven that is restored landfill site, Tolka River Valley Park. “If you are making this film for people planting trees anywhere, you will have to add water. Then it will be a universal film!”. Apart from some drinking water, we had none! Off went our minders, the team from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to fetch a bucket and some water and save the day. None being easily to hand, the team leader went home to his wife to borrow such a bucket! Take a “bough”, team Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co. Co. This team have been an incredible support in all the work of Shankill Tidy Towns, who by the way have inspired towns and villages all over the country to emulate their “One Tree For All” initiative; a tree for every citizen listed in the census as living in Shankill. The Shankill community has not only achieved this but are now adding many more and are approaching the 20,000-tree mark this year on local public lands! The council team make it all so easy and have been so supportive, sometimes heeling-in trees until the right time comes for planting the right tree in the right place! Sports Clubs are in particular grateful for the shelter. Stonebridge Park gets quite a lot of sea breezes and the planting really has helped to make the park more pleasant for all.

Editing of the film was kindly sponsored by the Tree Council of Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.

Kate, a certified drone pilot invited the children to make up a dance which was shot from the air. In fact there was more than one film crew present; at least two public representatives came along to support the initiative and mesmerised with the action, once they had done their bit to help they too took some shots to share this good-news story with their constituents. It was a very cold morning indeed and the children were most wonderfully good-humoured throughout the event.  They well deserved the Lusk apple juice from Llewellan’s and picnic basket of tree-ts left in to the indefatigable and super-organised sixth class teacher, Paula Kelly and her crew. They are soon to receive a surprise, a hand-turned bowl made by Blackwater Makers, Fermoy from storm-felled trees, filled with goodies to mark their significant contribution to the greening of Ireland. A Scots Pine, the 100,000th tree of the project which was recently presented to Crann Patron President Michael D. Higgins at Áras and Uachtaráin will be planted at the park once the current restrictions are lifted when such activities are permitted and the children will be able to view the landmark tree a few minutes’ walk from their school grounds.

The day of filming was a day of great fun and laughter and how happy we will all be when similar events can take place. Currently only socially-distanced planting and tree monitoring is taking place as safety is a core value of the project which is now being taken up in 7 counties countrywide. In conversation with the Parks manager, Orla discovered that she and Ruairi had links to Colaiste Iosagáin – Eoin and were able to discuss planting possibilities at their new sports grounds. Orla, the Easy Treesie Project Manager had gone to school in Blackrock and Booterstown at Coláiste Íosagáin, which was represented by a second participant on the day,  Shankill resident and eminent Tai Kwando expert Miriam Fahy who formerly taught at St. Anne’s and currently teaches at many other local schools supervised a young team of planters.  This team was planting 77 saplings for the class of 1977 who left Colaiste Íosagáin in that year, celebrating their friendship – they still keep in regular touch.

On the planting day before 5 km restrictions were in force, tools had been sent on loan for this event from as far away as Lusk, North County Dublin. Edward Stevenson, tree-planter extraordinaire had brought the second set of children’s spades recently sponsored by the Dublin Airport Authority on behalf of the Swords Woodland Association. Orla’s son, Sam, a trainee pilot drove a third consignment of spades from Clontarf and set to work planting trees to offset fuel burned earning his commercial aviation license.  Like students everywhere, he was very glad when his mother tree-ted him to an excellent Irish breakfast at the Talbot Hotel having crossed town before the traffic. She had stopped to fast-charge her electric car – a “Leaf”, of course. The tired tree-planters availed of the magnificent carvery at Brady’s of Shankill after the morning session and had a repeat visit with the second wave of planters whose time was cut short by torrential rain as the afternoon wore on. The job was done regardless and all those present felt very happy with their contribution to “Releafing” Ireland’s canopy. We salute Sam for his carbon-offsetting diligence. We are very grateful to Philip of Frame It Production, Kildare who carried out the editing of the film at cost and Kate and Emre of Blue Gray films who made the film at no charge and Dublin outlet Patagonia who sponsored the event and incidentally make very waterproof raincoats – we have tested them! See more about the film festival below. You can support the Easy Treesie project at and as well as the

Ireland’s Best Young Science Filmmakers ‘Reel’ in the Prizes at Galway Science and Technology Virtual Festival Show

 ReelLIFE SCIENCE video competition prizes awarded to Shankill film made by the “Easy Treesie – Crann project” and by Cork, Galway, Dublin, Tyrone and Roscommon schools and youth groups

 Participants From Canny Canines to Coronavirus and Melting Ice to Mitosis, short science videos made by young filmmakers from all over Ireland were honoured at the ReelLIFE SCIENCE Video Competition Awards during Sunday’s Galway Science and Technology Virtual Festival Show.

More than 450 short science films were entered into the competition by over 2,500 science enthusiasts from 130 schools and youth groups around Ireland. Winning videos were selected by a panel of guest judges including ‘Múinteoir Ray’ Cuddihy from RTÉ’s After School Hub; BBC Wildlife and Children’s presenter, Ferne Corrigan; and the 2020 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition winners, Cormac Harris and Alan O’Sullivan, from Coláiste Choilm in Cork.

The Easy Treesie group, which encourages young people to plant trees to combat climate change, came second and won a €500 prize in the Youth Group category. They plan to use the award to pay for editing new films encouraging tree planting for children.

Speaking about ReelLIFE SCIENCE, Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “We are delighted to support this initiative, which cleverly utilises digital technology to develop science literacy and creativity, at a time when these skills are most needed. ReelLIFE SCIENCE encourages young people to connect with science and technology in their everyday lives, and to bring that knowledge to a wider audience, while promoting current Irish scientific research and development.”

The ReelLIFE SCIENCE programme challenges young people in schools and youth groups around Ireland to engage with science and technology by producing short educational videos, while developing their communication and digital skills. Since being launched in 2013 by Dr Enda O’Connell, College of Science and Engineering in NUI Galway, and a team of volunteer scientists, this challenge has been met by more than 16,000 participants in over 500 schools and groups around Ireland.

Congratulating all of the participants, Dr O’Connell said: “We were hugely impressed with the standard of this year’s videos, particularly the ingenuity and creativity shown by the young filmmakers, often in challenging circumstances. Their hours of effort and passion for science was clear to see and made it a very difficult task for the judges. Well done to everyone who took part!”

The winning videos can be viewed at and more information about the programme can be found at


For more information contact Dr Enda O’Connell, College of Science and Engineering, NUI Galway, at

  • Crann, Trees for Ireland’s mission; to enhance the environment of Ireland through planting, promoting, protecting and increasing awareness about trees and woodlands. (Registered Charity No.13698)
  • The Easy Treesie Project; planting 1M trees with Ireland’s 1M school children and their communities by 2023 joining UNESCO-backed Plant-for-the-Planet’s challenge, reducing global heating by 1° during the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, 2021-31.
  • 101,590 Planted
  • Planting 100,000 in 2021.
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