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Tree grants awarded to 29 Wicklow community groups

Wicklow County Council has awarded tree grants to 29 communities and groups around the county. The grants will fund the planting of 4,735 trees in the coming weeks.

Every Autumn Wicklow County Council provides an annual grant for tree planting, which covers 75 per cent of the cost of purchasing trees for planting. Trees must be native species, fruit trees or a limited range of pollinator friendly trees recommended under the All Ireland Pollinator Plan.

A diverse range of groups applied for funding including residents’ associations, Tidy Towns groups, schools, community gardens and local biodiversity groups. Trees will be planted in all parts of County Wicklow.  Demand for funds to plant has doubled in the last two years.

Some of the trees are being purchased as single trees or small groups of trees on public open space while others will used to create larger belts of wooded habitat in our town and communities. This year several groups availed of grants to buy native hedging plants which will be used to create natural corridors for wildlife allowing wildlife to move around and live safely in urban settings.

Cllr Rory O’Connor, Cathaoirleach of the Climate Action and Biodiversity Strategic Policy Committee, commented that increasing tree canopy cover in the county and particularly in our towns is a goal of Wicklow County Council for delivering Climate Action. He said: “It is great to see such strong engagement by Wicklow communities’ in the tree planting programme with participants not only giving up their time to plant but also contributing to the cost of planting”.

Autumn and Spring are the best seasons to plant trees as native deciduous trees are dormant, soils are warm enough and moist to allow for good root growth.

Mr Frank Curran, Chief Executive, Wicklow County Council, advised that “Planting more native trees will help us to reduce the amount of carbon taken up in our atmosphere, can help to reduce some negative climate impacts such as heavy rainfall runoff while also providing much needed habitat for our biodiversity.”

Now is a good time to visit a local garden centre to see what trees they have to plant and discuss what tree would suit space you might have for planting one.