Plan to plant 100 million trees across the island announced in Wexford – The Irish Times

A plan to plant 100 Million Trees was announced at Tintern Abbey in Co Wexford on Wednesday, with the planting of 2,000 native Irish trees and shrubs.

The 100 Million Trees Project is a community-driven initiative developed by brothers, Richard and David Mulcahy, which aims to plant native Irish trees across the island throughout the next decade. The hope is to reverse the environmental damage caused by the reduction of forests generally.

Between 1,000 and 2,500 native Irish trees at a time are to be planted across small areas of land using the “Miyazaki method”, named after Japanese Botanist, Professor Akira Miyawaki who developed the technique in the 1970s. This method of over-planting trees has been successful in creating more than 1,700 forests worldwide, including three established forests in Ireland. By planting excessive numbers of trees together, they grow considerably faster, denser, are more biodiverse, and most importantly create a rapid carbon sink, say the backers of the project.

One benefit of dense planting is the project requires significantly smaller planting areas and can be carried out on unused or fallow land across Ireland.

Founders Richard and David Mulcahy, have shared a commitment and passion for the natural environment for decades. Richard Mulcahy, chairman of the Consumer Division of the Uniphar Group, first purchased a small forest of 11 hectares in 2000 and has since planted 46 hectares of mixed native and pine trees on his farm on the Wicklow/Wexford border.

Mr Mulcahy said the 100 Million Trees Project was “an easy way for them to begin climate mitigation right here, right now and on their own doorsteps”.

David Mulcahy, a cardiologist, has been planting trees for more than two decades and in 2020, with like-minded enthusiasts, founded Bugs Bees and Native Trees to encourage planting, and reduce the negative impact of climate change.

The first phase of the project commencing today is being supported by Tintern Trails Development Association at Tintern Abbey as well as Coillte, and land has been provided by Wexford County Council, along with an additional three sites at which planting will commence in early 2023.

The Chief Executive for Wexford County Council, Tom Enright said he was delighted to support the development of the project at Tintern Abbey “and to confirm that Wexford County Council is working closely with the promoters in identifying three other project locations which will be announced elsewhere in County Wexford early in the new year. It is important to emphasise that this ambitious and important initiative needs the support from local authorities, communities and landowners to help it achieve its goals”, he said.

The 100 Million Trees Project is now seeking participation from philanthropists, as well as corporations who wish to offset their carbon footprint and promote Ireland’s biodiversity. The sponsorship of the Tintern Abbey site, as well as the three sites to be planted in the new year, has been funded by a Californian philanthropist, Mr Des Walsh

The project is also seeking investment from the Irish Government, which would benefit from the carbon credits as well as not paying fines associated with missing climate targets. The project also hopes to gain further support from farmers, businesses, schools, public services, and communities that may be able to locate forests in their areas.

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