Posts Tagged ‘Nature based solutions’

Come Join Us Planting Trees for a Day! Every Act for Earth Counts!

Its a truly lovely experience working together with other volunteers to plant tiny trees knowing that we are helping to create new modest nature reserves which will grow for many generations.


1 a3 Aught 11th Feb

Images from our planting day in Aught Co. Donegal earlier this year. 

Planting season is upon us once again and we are delighted to tell you that we are planning to create new modest nature reserves all over Ireland this season, starting in Rathvilly Co. Carlow on the 26th of November.


Every person who comes to help is really appreciated. Many hands truly make light work! We need your help to plant and share the experience of working together to create spaces for nature to flourish.  We will begin at 10 am but appreciate that people may be coming from all over Ireland. No experience is needed at all because training will be provided. Children of all ages are welcome and are actively encouraged to get involved. Please bring warm waterproof clothes, and fully waterproof footwear. If you can bring tools such as shovels, pick axe, secateurs, lump hammers.

If you can do bring food to share. Sharing food as a break in the work is really lovely. (Just something simple like bread to go with soup, or home made vegetarian sweet or savoury somethings are always welcome!) Let us know if you can join us at GreenFriends@ammaireland.org


Directions to Rathvilly


From Dublin take N81 to Rathvilly you will see GreenFriends Tree Planting signs on the N81 just before Rathvilly on the N81.



Draft Rathvilly GreenFriend Nature Reserve draft

Draft Rathvilly GreenFriend Nature Reserve draft2Draft Rathvilly GreenFriend Nature Reserve draft3

Rational for planting to Rathvilly, Co. Carlow with GreenFriends volunteers, scheduled November 26th 2017.

Create new riparian woodland. Establishing new native woodland on existing greenfield site. The Rathvilly eastern boundary runs adjacent to the river Slaney, said to be Europe’s fastest flowing river. The proposed planting area is considered by local expertise provided by the landowner, to be fully floodplain. The extent and frequency of flooding varies annually.

‘Native riparian woodlands are biodiversity ‘hotspots’ and are often the only refuge for specific communities of flora and fauna of high conversation value.’‘Planting in floodplains will act to slow water run off and increase ground water recharge.’

‘The primary objective is to optimise woodland biodiversity while also assisting the achievement of the carrying capacity of all in stream fauna.’

Some definitions

Riparian Zone ‘Any land which adjoins, directly influences, or is influenced by a body of water’

ABZ Aquatic Buffer Zone. An area adjacent to an aquatic zone and managed for the protection of water quality and aquatic water systems. These need a 10 – 25 M extent from the water edge. 20% tree cover is recommended, with space been given over to emergence. The balance of required shade/light ratio the water body will optimally require should be considered.

Applied literature review 30 08 2017 Ref: Native Woodland information Notes, in support of the Native Woodland Scheme. By Woodlands of Ireland.

Green Friends Ireland is the green wing of the Amma Ireland charity registered charity no CHY15299.

Our aim is to plant trees with volunteers and create woodlands + nature reserves, to include food forests. We aim to inspire and collaborate with landowners to create a Woodland / Nature reserve on their lands.

It is the intention of GreenFriend’s Ireland that the trees we have planted become part of a managed Woodland/Nature Reserves, which can grow to become ancient, a natural place for diverse ecology to flourish. Therefore the creation of the Woodland/Nature Reserves are not for commercial purposes and will remain for generations to come.

We are preparing to plant this year and so far we have two set dates. the first in Carlow on November 26th and then  in Wicklow January 21st. More good news, volunteers are planing to plant native trees in Donegal and fruit trees at the Amma centre. We also have planting to do on various sites in Cork.

GreenFriends would like to plant all over Ireland, anywhere where land can be given over for as a reserve for nature to be allowed be a harmonious ecosystem full of life, for generations to come. If you know of some where, do let us know.




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Meelin, Clare, Tallow and Dublin, we are sowing acorns anywhere we can.

[Author: Roisin Byrne, voluntary consultant landscape architect and woodland + nature reserves coordinator for GreenFriends Ireland]

We were on our way into Citywest Hotel Saturday 1st of October, to meet with other volunteers to prepare for Amma’s visit on the 14-15th of October when Noah spotted a mass of acorns under the oak trees. We couldn’t stop right then but as the day went by, we swapped stories with some of the many volunteers of their acorn adventures. To store or sow straight away? How to store? Spacing? Soil? How to transplant? Animals misgive? Frost?

We did sow 160 acorns on 24th of September on the Meelin woodlands and nature reserve. These acorns were selected from just under 200 which we, 6 children and 3 moms, had collected the week before from Tomnafinnoge wood near Tinahely, Co. Wicklow, a beautiful native woodland. [http://tinahely.ie/walking/tomnafinnoge-woods/] We planted these at in a 4-foot turned over bed, a hand span apart. It took three of us just about an hour to turn the bed and 15 minutes to sow the acorns. Many hands make light work, and its more fun too. planting-acorns-in-meelin. The day after that sowing we visited Irelands very first Greenfriend’s woodland, in Corofin, planted 7 years ago. John Fisher, guardian of the woodland said ‘the woodland wouldn’t of happened without the Greenfriends volunteers’ and now the trees are 4-5 meters high, with many the oak among them. john-paddy-noah-in-clare John Fisher, guardian of the Corofin woodland has much experiential based advice for us on our acorn-planting quest. He himself had guerrilla planted oaks in Bristol planting 3 at a time saplings, which had grown from oaks he had sown. He marked where he had planted these on a book. He had been inspired he said by the animation The Man Who Planted Trees https://youtu.be/KTvYh8ar3tc.

Coincidentally Paddy McMahan, guardian of the Meelin woodlands and nature reserve had show us this same video just the day before to inspire us as we were about to plant our acorns.

John and I agree its best to plant straight away where possible. John pointed out its not necessary to be very fussy about spacing, or how much cover the acorns need, these are hardy things. Acorns produce a taproot and so when they emerge, and are ready to transplant that taproot can be cut a little to encourage a more fibrous root ball. Close spacing will encourage to trees to grow upwards too. If storing the acorns should not be allowed to be too moist, or they will rot, nor dry too much that they lose their vitality. Storing in a hessian sac is recommended.

Back in Citywest, Gordan is telling of how some animal wiped out his acorns which he had transplanted after they had germinated. He had found out its a good idea to let the acorns dry on perorated trays in a location where lots of fresh air can move very freely. He just happened to have a nice big bag so we went out to gather acorns, collecting off the paths, discarding the many nibbled ones to gather about 300 or so. Sue and Eefja will plant their 60 or so straightaway when they get to Tallow and Clare. The rest will be carefully stored to prepare them to return to the Greenfriends table at Citywest on the 14th. We’d love to see you there and hear your acorn stories! We all have some knowledge and it’s so nice to share stories of our endeavours to plant trees, after all many hands make light work, and its more fun too.


If you’d like to work together with us, we would be delighted [link]

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