The Ring of Gullion, with only about 4% of tree cover, is quite probably the least wooded landscapes in the whole of the European Union. But that is set to change over the next decade as this year’s tranche of the One Million Trees in a Day project bed in and start to grow. Over 14,000 trees were distributed at the weekend in a partnership between the Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership, the Woodland Trust and an All-Ireland initiative called One Million Trees in One Day.
Since the Landscape Partnership started in 2015 over 134,000 saplings and hedge trees have been planted, and a significant impact will be seen in the countryside of Gullion as these trees mature. The nationwide target of one million trees has some way to go but the contribution of the people of south Armagh has been substantial.
Gillian Fitzpatrick, chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District council, who collected trees to be planted for each member of her family, said,
“It is great to see the Ring of Gullion greening, the range of different people who will be planting trees as a result of today’s project is ‘Tree-mendous’. From farmers to children to pensioners we can all make a difference to our environment, to the climate, and to our personal well-being”
The Ring of Gullion, Landscape Partnership Scheme (RoG LPS), which is part of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s programme to conserve and enhance our treasured landscapes, will continue its Gullion’s Green Woodland Scheme over the next planting season and it is hoped that there will be two further opportunities to distribute subsidised trees, one in the autumn 2017 and one in the early spring 2018. Keep an eye on the website www.onemilliontreesinoneday.com to find out when the next planting day will be or sign up to the RoG LPS email newsletter on www.ringofgullion.org to get the information straight to your inbox.