Just Plant! Launch of National Tree Week (4th-11th March) at OPW’s Oldbridge Estate (Battle of Boyne)

27 February 18

In partnership with the Tree Council of Ireland John McMahon, OPW Commissioner will launch National Tree Week at the OPW Oldbridge Estate, home to a wide collection of rare specimens of trees

The theme of Tree Week (4th to 11th of March) this year is Just Plant! - 15,000 free sapling trees kindly donated by Coillte - which will be distributed to local community groups and schools who are holding a planting event in their area.

Speaking ahead of launch in Oldbridge Estate Commissioner McMahon noted that the contribution the Week makes to raising public awareness of sustainability, appreciating nature and the vital role of local communities in protecting the environment.  Planting trees helps improve biodiversity, protect the landscape, combat climate change and enhance quality of life.

Mr McMahon highlighted the importance of trees to the OPW’s portfolio of major National Historic Properties.  Tree planting formed the essence of the ‘designed landscapes’ of many of the Great Estates of the 18th and 19th centuries which to-day attract large numbers of Irish visitors and overseas tourists.  On the Oldbridge Estate there are fine collections of mature Beech, Walnut and Sweet Chestnut, rare single-leafed Ash, while the Octagon Garden contains a circle of nine ancient Yew trees estimated to be over 300 years old.

The Commissioner then outlined the historical significance of the trees on the Oldbridge Estate. An exquisite bowl carved from a limb of a walnut fallen tree from the estate was presented to Dr Ian Paisley by then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to mark the 50th wedding anniversary of Dr Paisley and his wife Eileen.  Mr McMahon will plant a sapling tree of the same Walnut species to mark National Tree Week.

In officially launching National Tree Week Commissioner McMahon thanked the Irish Tree Council and its Member Organisations, including the Beekeepers, OPW, Coillte, Local Authorities and community groups.

-ENDS-

For a full programme of events taking place in your area, check out www.treecouncil.ie

For further information contact OPW Client Services & Communications Unit on 087 147 0617 or at opwcsc@opw.ie

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