Happy World Rewilding Day and Irish National Tree Week!
We celebrated these events and St Patricks Weekend with a big tree planting on Saturday with the Wicklow branch of the Native Woodland Trust at their Coill na Luise reserve in Laragh, Wicklow.
We helped plant 50m of new native hedgerow along the reserve’s southern border, completing a stretch of 150m planted so far this year. The beginnings of a native hedgerow that will one day span almost a mile around the entire reserve, acting as a wildlife highway.
While a soaking shower of rain might have presided over the lunchtime picnic, it did nothing to dampen the spirits of the volunteers who pushed on through the afternoon session to plant 250 trees. The hedgerow mix in question was 60% thorn species, peppered with standalone trees of birch, hazel and rowan. Planted 2 feet apart, in 3 staggered rows, the planting strategy aims to create a wild hedge with plenty of room for the messy growth that such a hedge desires.
To guard against predation from invasive sika deer, as well as other potential predators such as rabbits, a protective fence was erected by hand right the way round. Supported by timber fence poles, the fence consisted of a run of sheep wire as well as a run of rabbit-proof mesh. In order to prevent burrowing underneath, the mesh was trenched-in to a depth of 20cm.
After the last fence pole and barbed staple were driven and hammered into place, a real sense of pride and accomplishment could be felt as the fence was closed. Our work is not complete however, as we plan to revisit our hedgerow after the tree planting season ends and the tree maintenance season begins - conducting regular work like mulching and cutting back competing vegetation to ensure our young saplings have the best possible start to life as they establish and take root in their new home on Paddock Hill.
Most of the trees in the mix were hawthorn, sponsored by everyone who purchased tree gift certificates at Christmas and this spring. If you are looking for a way to celebrate National Tree Week or a big occasion or someone close to you who has passed away, these tree certificates are available now on our website!