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I’ve just filled out this survey, it did only take around 20 minutes…here were some of my responses…
Project 1 1999; 200 saplings on school grounds with school children under the supervision of Conservation Volunteers Ireland and subsequently surveyed this project with the Local Authority Biodiversity Officer, Hans Wisser.
We expanded Project 1 in 2017 above to plant first another 300 saplings at a Plant-for-the-Planet international academy, with the goal of ultimately planting 1M trees with Ireland’s 1M school children and their communities then, a total of 7,400 trees in this city suburb, in other schools, in parks, a community garden and in private gardens in collaboration with the local community.
We expanded Project 1 and 2 above from 2019 to date to distribute over 330,000 trees throughout Ireland to school children and their communities.
- Highly restrictive Legislation limiting planting to 1 hectare; this applies to native-tree plantations only. All other projects require planning permission for which there is a waiting time of 2.5 – 3 years. This limiting factor is unique to Ireland and comes from an unusual interpretation of EU guidelines.
2. Hostility in Ireland to tree planting due to a) large-scale de-forestation in Ireland which occurred as part of being a colony of Great Britain leaving the country at 1.5% tree canopy cover in 1910, a level which has now risen to 11.5% – a percentage which has been static for 20 years or so. There is no tree culture to speak of remaining, there is a lack of knowledge of trees and much fake news is in circulation which has lead to huge antipathy to tree-farming.
3. Trees we have planted have suffered from 3 recent dry seasons. Because local authorities parks departments have very small budgets they were unable to water the saplings during these spells which lead to certain (avoidable) losses.
Of interest; If I had not personally quit my job as a teacher 7 years early to lead this project nobody would be carrying out this challenge running in 74 other countries. If this job is to be done in a timely fashion then paying people to do it is important, including paying professionals to get the message out about how we are carrying out science-lead restoration.