Work on three small forests in Sean Walsh Park commences

By Aideen O'Flaherty

SOIL preparations for the development of three small, densely packed forests in Sean Walsh Park will begin on Saturday morning, December 5, when a team of ten volunteers will put over 3,000 old copies of The Echo and bales of cardboard into the soil.

The preparations are going ahead following a proposal for the development of three ‘Stepping Stone’ forests that was made local by environmental group Litter Mugs earlier this year.

Sean Walsh Pk 02 1

The area in Sean Walsh Park where the forests will be developed

The proposal was lodged by the community-led group through a submission to South Dublin County Council’s Biodiversity Action Plan, and it was later agreed that if the council supplied the land for the densely packed, rapid-growing forests, then volunteers would provide the manpower.

The soil preparations this weekend, using old copies of The Echo donated by the paper and bales of cardboard donated by Cycle Superstore on the Airton Road, will be the first step in making these small urban forests a reality in Tallaght.

John Kiberd from the Litter Mugs told The Echo: “This is just a trial run that the council has agreed to do. We told the council that if they could provide the land, then the community would provide the labour.

“We’re going to plant native trees really densely, so they’ll compete with each other and grow rapidly.

“Most of our parks come from old estates that originally were forests.”

Mr Kiberd added: “We have all these vast greenspaces in our parks, but all they’re doing is cutting grass in and out, which isn’t good for biodiversity and actually releases carbon into the atmosphere.”

On Saturday morning, the group of volunteers will lay down layers of cardboard and paper into the soil, which will then be covered by a thick layer of woodchip mulch provided by the council, all of which will prepare the land for tree planting.

Plant species which are to be planted at the site in early spring include alder, birch, oak, Scots pine, willow, yew, blackthorn, crab apple, elder, guelder rose, holly, hazel, hawthorn, rowan, spindle and wild cherry.

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