Tree Nursery Access Project – Sponsored by the Heritage Council
To celebrate Heritage Week 2021 Green Sod Ireland are delighted to announce details of their new Tree Nursery Access Project in Páirc a’Tobair, Rosscarbery, Cork. This new project is Green Sod Ireland’s response to the Heritage Council’s call to “Open the Door to Heritage”. Páirc a’Tobair offers a spacious and beautiful place to allow people to reconnect to nature, gain skills, and learn about our natural heritage. The Tree Nursery Access Project will facilitate more students and CoAction service users to work together, alongside the rest of the community, becoming an integral part of the ecology centre. Whilst Green Sod has the capacity to support the service users and students in nurturing trees from seed collection to propagation, to planting out in the Wild Acre section of the site – we so grateful to the support we received from the Heritage Council to make the nursery more accessible.
In 2018 Páirc a’Tobair was gifted to Green Sod Ireland. It was originally agricultural land that belonged to the Sisters of Mercy in Rosscarbery. Over two decades ago, two of the Sisters in the Order (Sr. Kathy and Sr. Maria) took on the vision to rewild twenty five acres of land and devote it to biodiversity. The sisters had the support of the local community and together planted over 20,000 trees, created a community garden, planted fruit bushes and apple trees, and built a log cabin to live in. A memorial grove of native trees was planted, with each tree being dedicated to a loved one that passed away. They erected a polytunnel, created a pond, and included the community every step of the way. For the past twenty years the thousands of trees planted have grown into a forest, the wildlife corridors are teeming with life and pollinators, and the pond is thriving with biodiversity. The community gardens that have been tended to for the last couple decades are continuing to grow with volunteers and visitors, who are helping grow healthy, chemical free fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs. The recently erected second polytunnel and newly constructed raised beds have facilitated an increase in capacity and made the garden more accessible to the community. In 2020 a farm shop was opened outside the entrance of the property to sell fruit, vegetables, eggs and herbs through an honesty box system. This farm shop has allowed the community to feel more connected to the vision of Green Sod while enjoying nourishing local produce—it has been a great success.
Green Sod wants to help nurture feelings of responsibility towards our natural heritage, and for the students and service users to have a sense of pride in the tree nursery. The aim is to have a balance of active, meaningful occupation mixed with passive time in nature. Thanks to the support received from the Heritage Council – Green Sod are constructing a suitable path and handrail to the new tree nursery.
Listen to Paul Cullen, Green Sod Ireland Caretaker chat with Keith, Aoife and David from CoAction about the Tree Nursery Access Project and they work they do in Páirc a’Tobair: