On the 25th of March, we saw the vibrant community of Kilkenny come together to plant 1100 native trees with Tree Services Ireland at our annual native tree planting event. This year the community driven event took place in Kilkenny city’s Linear Park at a place known locally as the circles by the residents of Riverside Drive. As a Tree Surgery company this is our opportunity to give back to the community for all the support we receive throughout the year and what better way to give back to the people then by planting two native trees for every one tree we remove to create a new woodland in the peoples name.
This area runs parallel with the city’s main river, the Nore and traditionally the open tiered flats have always acted as a flood plain for this section of the river. The flood plain known as the Bishops Meadow, where the cycle and walk way runs along the river, is managed as a wild meadow providing habitat for wild grasses, wild flowers and a diverse variety of invertebrates, beetles being among some of the more important creatures found here. The section which Tree Services Ireland has been granted permission to plant a native woodland by Kilkenny County Council begins right of the entrance to Linear Park and Riverside Drive, in a wet site featuring an old water management system and springs which drains from a small lake into the Nore itself. The Tree Services Ireland planting site already has a lot of native regenerating willow but with the help of over 60 volunteers from all ages the site has now been fully planted with 250alder, 250 downy birch and over 600 oak trees.
For this planting event Tree Services Ireland brought together various local groups to discuss the site and development of a community woodland with biodiversity being our focus. Kilkenny County Council provided the space at Linear Park and information on the topography of the site. Kilkenny’s wildlife officer from the National Parks & Wildlife Services, Jimmy Conroy advised us on the existing habitat of the Bishops Meadow and the composition of soils and man made structures that make up the site where the new native woodland is planted. The wonderful people from Keep Kilkenny Beautiful gave great support by getting the word out, getting volunteers to the planting event and hopefully KKB will be able to enter the event for the Tidy Towns tree planting award. Furthermore, a special mention goes to the reserves officer from the Native Woodland Trust, Rebecca Doyle who attended to advise us on what trees would compliment the site while also lending 25 spades for day to get the job accomplished. By planting all native tree species here, it will expand biodiversity in the area giving more places for birds, small mammals, amphibians and insects to rest, breed and forage. In time, we hope that this woodland will develop into an interactive piece of habitat for the public to learn and enjoy.
The native tree species that have been planted at the site, Common Oak Quercus robur, Common Alder Alnus glutinosa and Downy Birch Betula pubescens were careful chosen to add a mix of native trees that are traditionally found in the county as well as being adapted to the sites conditions. As this is a wet site Alder will thrive and develop quickly giving the woodland a visual height in a few years. Downy Birch doesn’t mind wet feet also and will provide great colour and texture to the developing woodland, while in time the much more slow growing Oak will become the main character of the woodland giving height and the perfect woodland canopy.
The Tree Services Ireland Team would like to thank everyone that made the event a great success, from all the tree planting heroes that turned up on the day, to the members of the various organisation that came together to advise and collaborate on this biodiversity project for Kilkenny city. Everyone can be very proud of what we have achieved and hopefully our trees grow tall and old for the next generation to enjoy.
Extra mention to Kay from SAP Nurseries in Tipperary, for supplying the trees and the guys in the Tree Council for also donating the last of their tree week trees.