By Leela (aged 11).
Five years ago, my family and I moved to a cottage on a couple of acres, in County Galway. The land was little more than a tangle of brambles, neglected hedges, dock plants and cow-trampled mud. There was very little other wildlife.
A couple of weeks ago we planted our thousandth tree. We have planted hedgerows and hundreds of native tree saplings, created orchard areas, and planted trees for coppicing. Now it is alive with wild-life.
So I have grown up with what I feel is an understanding of trees. They are not only beautiful but they support many forms of life. But I have noticed a lot of tree destruction, especially over this and last year. Farmers around us have been brutally chopping the hedgerows, Waterways Ireland have sliced trees down on river banks and councils are destroying them in our towns. All that is left are sad stumps.
Ireland only has 2% of its native woodland remaining. I have realised that sympathy is not enough and we need to do more. We cannot let the destruction of these fantastic beings continue! So my little brother and I have taken action. I recently gave a talk to our local Beaver group about the importance of trees, and my brother has composed a ‘Lament for Irish Trees’ on the guitar which he is recording for our music school website.
We have also written a letter to the members of the Oireachtas and Government, demanding that they act to save Ireland’s trees. We would like to get a hundred children’s signatures on our letter.
This article was published in the news section of the Irish Wildlife Trust Magazine, Summer 2019 edition. Since it was written, other children have got involved with our Open Letter Project, the Children’s Tree Campaign has been launched and 190 signatures have been collected so far.
If you would like to get involved, please look at our projects and get in touch.