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Over the last month, more than 40,000 native trees have been distributed throughout the Dairygold region, to be planted on the lands of dairy and tillage suppliers. The Biodiversity Tree Project, in it’s inaugural year, has been an over-whelming success and a welcomed positive story in an otherwise difficult Covid-addled few months!
Initially the distribution of 20,000 trees to farmers had been the project’s target. However, after those trees were taken up less than a full day after the application process opened in the summer, the Dairygold Board Members decided to double the target to 40,000. In the second round of the program, the offered trees were again swept up by eager applicants within hours of their advertised availability.
Trees On The Land Partners
Dairygold carried out this project in conjunction with the charity and not-for-profit Trees On The Land project (part of the Green Economy Foundation). The trees were sourced, packed and distributed to Dairygold Branches by their staff, who this year had to contend with the difficulties of both Covid and disruption to the supply of trees due to the late mild weather delaying the lifting of trees in the nurseries. Despite the challenging circumstances, most of the trees were in branches, ready for collection before Christmas and all were delivered before calving.
Liam O’ Doherty, Mitchelstown
Liam O’Doherty & his Tree-Planting Experience
One dairy supplier who was quick to apply for free trees through the Biodiversity Tree Project was Liam O’Doherty of Croughavoe, Mitchelstown. Liam milks 120 cows between his 40 acres at Croughavoe and 70 acres in Glenduff. Following Liam’s beloved local hurling club, Ballygiblins’ recent success winning the Munster Championship, Liam collected his trees and set to work planting.
Liam received 100 Shelterbelt trees, 100 Hedgerow trees, 25 Woodland trees and 25 Wetland trees. He planted the shelterbelt tree mix and hedgerow trees along the earthen-banks ditches and between already existing hedges within his elevated lands in Glenduff. Liam has planted the woodland tree mix in a corner of a productive field within Glenduff also and the 25 wetland tree species are to be planted in a heavy soiled, wet section of a plot in Croughavoe.
When asked why Liam wanted to plant the trees he explained that he thinks that “if everyone did a small bit, everyone would benefit” and he sees his livestock use the shelter that is already there and thinks that they will benefit with more shelter in the future. Liam explained that “in the past, taking out trees and hedges to make fields bigger was the way to go, and no one really thought about the negative side”. Today he “see the benefit to man and beast to having a few more trees and hedges around the place”.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to all those who helped to make this project happen and special thanks to all those who have participated in the program and planted trees, doing their bit to help nature grow alongside their farm enterprise!
Ciara Donovan, Farm Sustainability Advisor