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Shannon students plant trees for new habitat as part of An Choill Bheag initiative

14 February 2024

Shannon Municipal District is supporting the ‘An Choill Bheag’ initiative, which is a collaborative effort with An Taisce and a number of national schools in Shannon.

The project will see 800 native trees being planted in 2024 at four locations. It is a grassroots approach to educating young school goers, through an outdoor living classroom, of the importance of trees and highlighting the very real issue of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Cathaoirleach of Shannon MD, Cllr Donna McGettigan, said, “Shannon Municipal District is providing the funding for native trees such as oak, alder, whitethorn and holly and it is so encouraging to see the enthusiasm of the children around planning, planting and future care of the new habitat.”

LEAF Ireland stated that it is delighted to be working with Clare County Council, Shannon Municipal District, and a number of schools in the Shannon area to plant the trees, as part of the An Choill Bheag initiative. An Choill Bheag is an initiative of LEAF Ireland and the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce.

On Thursday, 1st February, students from St John’s National School in Shannon planted the first 200 native trees of mixed variety, in the green area adjacent to the school. Planting these native trees not only helps address the climate and biodiversity emergencies but also creates an outdoor learning space for the students and community to explore as the woodland matures. Before Christmas, the students spent a day mapping the area to be planted, investigating what species were already present and deciding on the most appropriate species to plant.

Over the coming weeks, the students will return to care for the recently planted trees. The area will be mulched to suppress the grass growth and retain moisture in the ground. A final visit will take place later in the Spring, and the students will be shown how to care and look after this new habitat. Educational signs will also be put in place.

Rachel Geary from LEAF Ireland said, “Climate change is the biggest issue facing us at the moment. This collaborative initiative with Shannon Municipal District provides an opportunity to tackle climate change at a community level by planting trees with local schools. Importantly, the students will also be shown how to care for these important habitats as they mature. We will also educate and raise awareness about the importance of trees and the multifunctional benefits of forests.”



Councillors and staff of Shannon Municipal District: Ava Dillon, Pauline McCoy, Cllr Gerry Flynn, Cllr Pat O’Gorman, Cllr PJ Ryan, Cathaoirleach of Shannon Municipal District Cllr Donna McGettigan, Tom Mellett and Anne Griffin.

Page last reviewed: 14/02/24

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