New Creggan tree nursery to be created as part of £39k programme to train young adults in Derry in green economy skills

A new tree nursery is to be set up as part of a new £39,380 green training programme that will provide young adults in Derry with skills in biodiversity, horticulture and habitat management.
Creggan Country ParkCreggan Country Park
Creggan Country Park

The nursery will provide indigenous broad-leaved trees that are in short supply to local suppliers.

Creggan Country Park announced this morning that the Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland has awarded a grant of £39,380 to deliver the three year environmental training and volunteer programme and to help set up a tree nursery.

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Karen Healy, Environmental Officer at Creggan Country Park said: “We’re so grateful to the Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland for providing this funding. The past year has highlighted the importance of being outdoors for our mental and physical health and a project like this could not have come at a better time. Thanks to this grant, we can provide new training and volunteering opportunities for local people, particularly those who have found themselves out of work.

"Learning a variety of new skills from biodiversity to woodwork and setting up a tree nursery might give participants a new career path to follow. With Brexit, an increase in climate change adaptation projects and lack of local suppliers, it is extremely difficult to source native broadleaf trees so there is a real need for a North West tree nursery. Thanks to Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland we can start growing this new social enterprise to bring social, economic and environmental benefits to the local community.”

Foundation Chair Paula Leathem said: “We felt it was imperative to provide additional tailored support to local charities as we start to rebuild after the pandemic. Not only will these projects receive funding but they will also have mentoring support from key staff at Lloyds Banking Group.”

The programme ‘Nature On Your Doorstep’ will provide new opportunities for people aged 16+ to gain new skills, meet new people and maybe even discover a new career path. Participants will learn about biodiversity, habitat management, horticulture, woodwork and will take part in nature therapy sessions to improve their physical and mental health. Participants will help set up a tree nursery and income generated from this will help create new jobs for the future. Lunch, transport and full PPE will be provided for participants thanks to the funding. In addition to funding, Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland will also provide digital support, mentoring and training for Creggan Country Park staff and volunteers.

For more information contact [email protected]