Coillte, Ireland’s national forestry company, marked National Tree Day 2016 with a series of woodland walks among some of Ireland’s most loved trees. Over 2,000 children from primary schools across the country took part in the walks, organised by Coillte as part of Tree Day, seeing how to identify trees, learning about the benefits that trees provide and connecting with nature.
In Coillte’s Jenkinstown Forest Park, Co. Kilkenny over 60 children from Gowran Primary School were brought on a loop trail through the woodland estate, received a talk on native trees, hurley Ash production and sika deer which are resident of Jenkinstown Forest Park, and honed their tree identification skills in the mixed woodlands which provide a rich habitat for a diverse range of animals and plants. Following the walk, all the pupils received a tree day pack including a Coillte carrier bag.
Coillte also organised woodland walks to take place in woods and forest parks in Mayo, Donegal, Clare, Offaly, Limerick, Sligo and Roscommon.
Coillte Director of Stewardship and Public Goods Ciaran Fallon said “Coillte manages woodlands and forest parks across the country and this time of year they really showcase all that is wonderful about autumn. The change in the seasons can be the most interesting and fun times to take a walk in a woodland, at this time of the year the leaves are changing colour, animals and wildlife are preparing for the winter and there is a real sense of the life within a woodland.
“Tree Day is a brilliant opportunity for young people to enjoy the forest, connect with nature and learn about the importance of the forest from a broader environmental perspective. Positively contributing to the environment and to communities is a core value for Coillte and something we take great pride in. Today it is great to see so many children take part in our woodland walks and we would hope this encourages families to visit Coillte forest parks and recreational sites”
Tree Day is organised each year by the Tree Council of Ireland with the support of its members and the Green Schools and is sponsored for the last nineteen years by Tetra Pak.
For more information on Coillte’s tracks and trails, including wheelchair and buggy accessible parks, as well as about forest parks and recreation sites nationwide, log onto www.coillteoutdoors.i