To all who joined us on November 30th at Santry Demesne,
Thank you so much to all involved in organising our great day out with Kyndryl team and to all the tree planters, what a lovely and hard working and charming team they were to spend the day with…!
Any memorable moments or highlights of the day?
It was a great pleasure to collaborate with One Tree Planted in today’s event at Northwood Park, Santry Demesne, Dublin, Ireland in another of our series of joint initiatives.
It was a particular pleasure to be able to work at this Fingal Local Authority Parkland site, commenced in our favourite style some years ago when children from the local Irish-speaking school walked across the park to plant a tree for each pupil at their school of almost 200 pupils which is situated adjacent to the site of this magnificent historic park. On that day we started as always with a strong partnership with our registered charity Crann – Trees for Ireland board members in attendance – one of them being the project leader of this Easy Treesie initiative. Local public representatives, the local business community from adjacent hotel Crowne Plaza – Tifco who provided refreshments on that occasion for the tree planters and local authority experts through their operations department were all present on the first day of this site planting.
Our purpose today was to carry out some essential maintenance on the most recent trees planted by supressing weeds competing with the saplings for light, water and nutrients. We have experienced an unusual autumn with continued growth of vegetation right into November this year. We do not usually have to concern ourselves with weed suppression at this time of year but this year it is a useful intervention at this location.
It was a chilly enough morning at 8 degrees C with a stiff breeze blowing so our safety and introduction meeting was kept brisk. A member of the hotel staff who had joined in the planting in the spring this year came out from reception to wish us good luck in our endeavours and to thank us for looking after their new trees.
Many of the group had travelled some distance so – our project being chocolate-powered – a round of chocolate brought a smile to all faces in time for our official photograph. Today’s selection was chocolate “Heroes” for the climate heroes present today with a tin of favourites “Quality Street”, a traditional Christmas choice. We held up our magnificent holly saplings with a “Ho ho ho” on this December Eve; our suggestion? That those present would have Tree Planting as a new tradition in upcoming Christmas seasons and that today’s tree planters would look for opportunities within their own families and communities to spread the love of trees.
We had a number of queries from tree planters with relation to their own tree experiences. One example; how to preserve trees condemned at a local building site? Our suggestions? Check the planning permission to see have the trees been designated for preservation; appeal for local support for their preservation as happened when the Clontarf Hospital hedgerow bounding its frontage was saved due to local pressure; appeal to the developers to replace the mature trees with new planting.
In addition to maintenance, while this Santry Park site is now planted at the density recommended by our expert supervisors at this location of the typical density (of 2,500 – 3,000 saplings per hectare planted at approximately 1.5m spacing,) the dry spring and summer experienced not only this year but in Dublin over the last 3 seasons meant that there were some gaps from trees did not thrive as expected. This required infill of certain gaps on site which was addressed today with the planting of a mixture of native Irish holly plug-grown saplings as well as a selection of bare-root trees sponsored by State nursery Coillte and heeled-in since last season by our collaborating partners, local group the Swords Woodland Association. Oak grown from seed by this group was part of today’s planting as was birch, silver birch and beech. The council is particularly grateful for the inclusion of beech at this site since many of the mature beech trees in this park, having been planted over a century ago are now in many cases coming to the end of their lifespan and have suffered from storm damage in many cases.
We had the pleasure of meeting the Kindryl President who by happy co-incidence had been able to timetable some local meetings with our tree planting initiative. This allowed her the opportunity to join in the planting at an easy half-hour distance from Dublin airport. Not only did she and her entourage get a chance to chat in this relaxed and majestic park, she used the occasion to treat her team by taking coffee orders from all, including the Easy Treesie team and making 2 runs to the Gourmet Food Parlour for delicious hot drinks and some Gourmet Foods…chocolate and marshmallow cakes made this morning!
This park is beloved by local dogs and their owners; many stopped to inspect the work parade today and inspect what was going on! We enjoyed a visit from a puppy-in-training as an assist-dog for the Autistic community. This dog’s training brief is to experience a variety of environments to be able to deal with them appropriately in future. Not only did this charming puppy get to meet many local new canine friends but also enjoyed the buzzing atmosphere of the upstairs dining room at the local restaurant, the Gourmet Food Parlour where a Christmas party was taking place to the delight of several visiting babies. This warm and cosy lunch location was a welcome stop for the tree planters.
There was great interest by the group in our two surprise tours to the local Santry Community Garden, voted in the top ten community gardens in the world in this year’s People’s Choice vote. Both morning and afternoon groups were able to avail of a guided visit to this special garden, voted in the top ten people’s choice in the world in a 2022 vote! Of particular interest was a banana tree growing in one of their poly tunnels and the magnificent espaliered fruit trees, among the varieties the Pear Bon Chretien. We learned that pears were a favourite fruit of Louis of France, the Sun King and 300 varieties were available to satisfy his love of this fruit. We met with the manager, Ciarán Conneelly and many of the garden members including their tree specialist and their horticulturalist-in-charge who brought us on a tour of their magnificent facility. This was an excellent end to the day and in the fading light we said our goodbyes with another round of sweets for the road home and some souvenir issues of our recent “Crann” magazines. This enthusiastic group recorded the day with several photographs we have pleasure in sharing with you – perhaps they will appear in one of our upcoming issues!
Our own team really enjoyed this day-long event. Thank you for the opportunity to connect with this corporate group. They were very hard working and good-natured despite the breezy conditions. We were very pleased with the support which enabled us to fund a team visit of this kind to carry out this valuable maintenance and infill work. We were complimented by the newly-appointed Fingal Tree Officer, Cormac Downey of the county this week for our recent diligent attention to the establishment of woodland in its early stages.