Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster members have been digging deep this weekend by planting new trees at sites across Northern Ireland, as part of the One Million Trees in One Day initiative.
This ambitious project aims to plant a million young native trees right across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland – all in the space of 24 hours – with landowners, farmers and the public encouraged to take part.
With support from Ulster Wildlife’s Grassroots Challenge project, Crumlin, Kells and Connor, Killinchy and Bleary Young Farmers’ Clubs rolled up their sleeves to plant out almost 2,000 native trees including hawthorn, blackthorn, holly, hazel and rowan at three sites including Mossley Park in Newtownabbey and at two of the young farmers’ farms in Saintfield and Bleary.
The Grassroots Challenge aims to inspire young people to take action for the environment within their local communities, thanks to National Lottery players.
Shona Campbell, Grassroots Challenge officer with Ulster Wildlife said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for young farmers to make their mark on the landscape and to leave a lasting legacy for future generations.
“The new trees will help provide a welcome boost to our native woodland cover in Northern Ireland, which is less than 8%, as well as providing many benefits to both wildlife, and people for years to come.
“Our thanks to Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council for providing a suitable site and to both families who offered up their farmland.”
Kerry Given, Crumlin YFC secretary, added: “Crumlin YFC members were only too glad to help and take part in the event which promoted greater biodiversity in the Mossley Park area and gave them another opportunity to get involved in the local community.
“We all had great fun working alongside Kells and Connor’s members and would like to thank Shona for all that she did to organise the morning. We think it will be great for some of the members to return in years to come and see what a difference a couple of hours of tree-planting can make to the future!”
If your club would like to get involved with the Grassroots Challenge contact: Londonderry, Antrim and Down clubs - firstname.lastname@example.org. Fermanagh, Tyrone and Armagh clubs - email@example.com
Find out more about the Grassroots Challenge at ulsterwildlife.org/grassroots