Volunteers help to plant more than 200 trees as National Tree Week launched in Mid and East Antrim
More than 200 trees were planted and bee hotels and bird boxes built during a Big Community Plant Out in Ahoghill to launch this year’s National Tree Week.
National Tree Week is the UK’s largest celebration of trees and the start of the winter tree-planting season.
As part of the Tree Week celebrations, a range of free activities are taking place across Mid and East Antrim, including coppicing and countryside crafts workshops, hedge laying and wreath making.
Council staff will also be out planting hundreds of trees with the help of schoolchildren and community groups.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Alderman Stewart McDonald officially launched Tree Week locally by planting the first tree of the season during a Big Community Plant Out at Ahoghill New Park last weekend.
Alderman McDonald, who was joined by members of the Ahoghill in Bloom group, said: “I was delighted to plant the first tree at Ahoghill New Park.
“There was a great turnout on the day and participants planted 220 native trees, such as hawthorn, blackthorn and hazel, as well as building bee hotels and bird boxes, and enjoying hedgerow food and drink.
“The community is very much looking forward to the development of this exciting new space and are keen to be involved along the way.
“I hope this site will flourish and provide a valuable resource for the community and local wildlife for many years.”
James Perry MBE, from Ahoghill in Bloom, added: “What a great turnout from groups and organisations right across the community - from local schools, the Young Farmers’ Club, Ahoghill Patchwork Group, footballers, schoolchildren and our own Ahoghill in Bloom volunteers.
“The trees planted will become a free food resource for everyone in the community to harvest and enjoy. They will also add to the biodiversity of the area. We are very much looking forward to the next ‘plant out’ - one of best events we have had in the village!”
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, said: “Tree Week marks the beginning of the tree-planting season, which runs right through until February.
“I encourage citizens to celebrate trees at one of our free events, or simply get outdoors and enjoy the tremendous trees we already have in the parks and ppen spaces in Mid and East Antrim.
“Citizens can also consider planting their own tree. Anyone can make a difference to their view and to biodiversity by adding a tree.
“Planting a tree is a very positive thing to do and is great fun, even in the depths of winter. There are plenty of reasons to get planting – it’s great exercise, children love it, and you’ll be making a valuable contribution to our local wildlife. Every tree counts.”
· Wreath Making, Saturday 25 November, 11am-1pm, Dixon Park, Larne
· Coppicing and Countryside Crafts, Sunday 26 November, 11am-2pm, Ecos Nature Park, Ballymena
· Celebrate the Christmas Hedgerow, Sunday 3 December, 11am-2pm, Diamond Jubilee Wood, Whitehead