Community tree nurseries are flourishing in Faughan Valley

Local groups have been nurturing trees from seed to sapling as part of the Woodland Trust’s Faughan Valley landscape scale project.

Friday, 19th July 2019, 7:59 pm
Updated Friday, 19th July 2019, 8:59 pm
Planting their tree seeds are Denise and Charles from the ESCAPE Social Group at Eglington Community Hall.

The project’s start-up phase has seen hundreds of locals rolling up their sleeves to take part in the Woodland Trust’s Acorns to Oaks project, a community tree nursery initiative.

Workshops were delivered throughout the year to teach green fingered volunteers how to grow and nurture trees from seeds to saplings on their school or community grounds, creating a micro-tree nursery. With knowledge, patience and care, the tree nursery volunteers will raise these seedlings until they are strong enough to be planted in the Faughan Valley.

The pilot project has created six flourishing micro tree nurseries across the Faughan Valley, one of which is based in Eglinton Community Halls. Four social groups including senior citizens and the ESCAPE social group for parents and children with additional needs, got involved in the project by potting their own seedlings to care and nurture ready for planting later this year.

Debbie Caulfield, from Eglinton Community Ltd, said: “The social groups at Eglinton Community loved mucking in and developing their own micro tree nursery. It’s fantastic for the children to be able to watch and learn about the full life-cycle of a tree from seed to sapling.

“The benefits of green therapy for mental health and wellbeing have long been documented. There’s something really nurturing about spending time in the great outdoors and sowing a seed to watch it grow; creating an environment where both plants and people can thrive.”

Bronagh Gallagher, Faughan Valley Project Officer, added: “I hope the success of the pilot project will encourage other schools and community groups to get involved in the project to help protect and grow our local environment.”

Interested in creating your own tree nursery? Contact the Woodland Trust NI office on: 028 9127 5787.