GMIT Letterfrack establishes new woodland with Connemara National Park
Duncan Steward launches five acre woodland which will be a new learning environment for students
Date Article Written:
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
GMIT Letterfrack has established a new five-acre native woodland in the grounds of the Connemara National Park (CNP) in collaboration with the CNP, Connemara West and local community groups.
The new Community Native Woodland is comprised of over 3,000 saplings which were planted by GMIT Letterfrack students as well as staff in the three organisatons and community groups. The project was first planned in 2013 by the GMIT Letterfrack Green Campus Committee with support from the ‘One Million Trees and a Day’ initiative and a Department of Agriculture Native Woodland grant.
Additional plantings took place during the past two years to restock the woodland, and there is continuous maintenance to help the tress get established. The species planted include alder, birch, whitethorn, guilder rose, holly, pendunculate oak and scots pine.
Dermot O’Donovan, Head of GMIT Letterfrack, says: “The site will be hugely important to support biodiversity in the area. It will play its role in carbon sequestration and also act as a learning environment for students and the wider community.”
“In the coming years GMIT Letterfrack will develop resources to ensure that the potential of the woodland is maximised from an educational perspective.”
“Ireland imports approximately 95% of hardwoods consumed each year and this project helps students of GMIT Letterfrack, who specialise in the use and manipulation of wood in furniture design and technology projects, to understand how trees and forests develop and how long it takes for trees to mature.”
“It is hoped that thinings and, later, mature timber from the woodland will be extracted to demonstrate how sustainable forestry can work in local environments supporting local communities. “
For more information on programmes and campus life in GMIT Letterfrack see:
Cutting the ribbon at the formal opening of the new Community Native Woodland, L to R. Martin Kearnney, GMIT, Janet O'Toole, Connemara West, Duncan Stewart, broadcaster, environmentalist and architect, Ger O'Donnell, National Parks and Wildlife Service. Photo: Mike Shaughnessy