Coillte, the state forestry company, is preparing for National Tree Week with the launch of a nature-inspired photography competition for primary school children across Ireland. The competition aims to encourage students to connect with nature and understand the importance of trees in protecting our planet. Teachers and pupils are invited to take a picture of their favorite tree or outdoor nature space and upload it to the Coillte website. Four winners will be chosen, and each will receive a trip for themselves and their class to ‘Beyond the Trees Avondale’ at Coillte’s Avondale Forest Park in Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow.
National Tree Week, which will take place from March 3-10, is Ireland’s largest annual tree celebration. This year’s theme, ‘Planting Trees for a Greener Future’, emphasizes the crucial role that trees and forests play in addressing climate change. Coillte will mark the occasion by donating 150,000 tree saplings to local community groups for planting.
Cormac Downey, president of the Tree Council of Ireland, spoke at the launch of the competition, stating that National Tree Week is about communities coming together to celebrate the positive impact of trees and forests. He encouraged everyone to participate in a local event during the week, whether it be a walk, discussion, or community planting. Downey expressed his hope that these activities would inspire individuals to contribute to a greener future by planting more trees.
Sakinah Brennan of Coillte highlighted the significance of National Tree Week in promoting the fight against climate change, biodiversity, and sustainable Irish wood production. She expressed excitement about the primary schools’ competition, believing that it would encourage students to explore and appreciate the nature around them while understanding the importance of trees in safeguarding our future.
During National Tree Week in March, a variety of activities will take place, including group forest walks, tree-planting events, workshops, and forestry talks. Expert-led webinars, including the annual Augustine Henry forestry lecture on urban forestry in Ireland, will also be held throughout the week. These sessions will provide valuable insights and perspectives from experts on the critical role of trees in promoting a greener and more sustainable future.
Since its establishment in 1985, National Tree Week has been responsible for planting nearly one million trees in Ireland. It continues to be a significant event in raising awareness and encouraging action to protect and enhance our natural environment.
National Tree Week is a wonderful opportunity for children to connect with nature and learn about the importance of trees in our ecosystem. By participating in the photography competition and engaging in various activities during the week, students can develop a deeper appreciation for the environment and contribute to a greener future.