Orla Farrell always had a dream of growing a gigantic forest since she heard in school when she was 6 that Ireland was the worst in Europe for tree cover. She was hoping that some day, she would win the lotto and then buy an enormous bit of land, a few counties maybe and plant it there. But as she never bought a lotto ticket, that has not happened yet.
In the meantime, she has been planting tiny forests with the children in her school. The first one they planted was in the year 2,000 and while it is tiny the trees are now higher than the roof of the school and it is a home for lots of wildlife. They liked it so much they decided to plant another one at the Junior school last year; everybody loves it much more than plain ordinary old grass, (except for the caretaker, Pat, who loves cutting grass on the ride-on mower; he is starting to like it though because we planted him a special tree). Our tiny forest in Baldoyle is filled with birds, insects and every sort of creature but best of all lots of native trees including wild apple! We call it a badly-spelled name because our forests are one ARE in size, that is ten by ten metres, which is the sort of minimum-apartment-size for wildlife.
Well okay there is no actual minimum but this is a great size because it does not need too much watering or minding as it creates a micro-climate and hey, you won’t drive your buggy over it by accident or indeed a lawnmower. Lots of people love our idea and are helping us. We are quite worn out going to prize givings, we are thinking of not accepting any more prizes because we are too busy planting to be gadding off all the time eating free lunches. We are helping other schools to do the same as us this year and next Winter we are holding our first Tree Academy in our school with Plant for the Planet. Learn more about our Tiny Forest project here.
PS. One last thing; for every tree we plant in Ireland we sponsor another one in schools who can’t afford the one euro per sapling in poorer countries.