Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Whitehead Diamond Begins to Sparkle

The ‘Diamond Wood’ at Whitehead is glowing with life thanks to the hard work of nature lovers from throughout Northern Ireland. School children, local people and visitors transformed the landscape by planting thousands of trees during a week-long series of events in celebration of the Queen’s historic Diamond Jubilee.

Whitehead's new wood is the result of a partnership between the Woodland Trust and proud owner Carrickfergus Borough Council; and is one of 60 Diamond Woods springing to life across the UK as part of the Trust's ambitious Jubilee Woods project.

The Northern Ireland gem will be home to 60,000 native saplings, mostly oak and ash. In addition, a majestic tree-lined avenue already has pride of place: 54 copper beech trees represent the 54 countries within the Commonwealth and extend a warm leafy welcome to all. The 'Commonwealth Tree Avenue' was planted by the Housing Executive's Housing Community Network as part of its work to promote good race relations across Northern Ireland.

Patrick Cregg, director of the Woodland Trust, said: "We're extremely grateful to Carrickfergus Borough Council for making this land available. And we're heartened by the enthusiasm of the children and adults who rolled their sleeves up to get the tree planting underway. It's a wonderful way to mark the Queen's 60-year reign, while making a meaningful contribution to the environment."

The Mayor of Carrickfergus Borough Council, Alderman Jim McClurg, added: "Thanks to collective efforts we have the beginning of a fantastic natural resource. This new woodland will provide a much-needed habitat for wildlife and will be a lasting legacy for future generations. We hope that everyone - local people and visitors from further afield - will take time to explore and enjoy this quiet corner of nature."

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Plant Your Tree for the Jubilee

Nature lovers are invited to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by making a personal and lasting contribution to the environment. Mark this historic event by rolling up your sleeves to plant trees at Northern Ireland’s new ‘Diamond Wood’, just outside Whitehead, on Saturday 25 February from 10.30am to 3.30pm.

Tree planting, arts and crafts, storytelling, face painting and archery are just some of the activities on a brimming woodland agenda – and all free of charge.

The Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods project aims to involve millions of people in planting six million trees throughout the UK. At the core of the project will be the creation of 60 special Diamond Woods – each at least 60 acres in size.

Land on the doorstep of the seaside village of Whitehead has been chosen as the venue for Northern Ireland’s Diamond Wood. This jewel in the crown is the result of a joint partnership between the Trust and owner Carrickfergus Borough Council, and is funded by Forest Service and GROW under the NI Rural Development Programme.

Patrick Cregg, the Trust’s director, says: “This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the Queen’s 60-year reign while making a meaningful contribution to the landscape. This February - the anniversary of the accession to the throne - will see mass tree planting right throughout the UK. We’ve a target to plant 60,000 native saplings here at Whitehead, and we hope that individuals and groups will help get things off to a flying start.”

The Mayor of Carrickfergus, Alderman Jim McClurg, adds: “We want as many people as possible - local people and visitors - to join us. And with a wealth of fun activities on offer, it’s an unmissable day for everyone. This new wood will be a fantastic natural resource, a haven for wildlife, and a living legacy for future generations.”