Picking Acorns for a Greener Future - Planting the first Guaranteed Irish Forest.
Last month, Guaranteed Irish joined hands with The Nature Trust to partake in an extraordinary endeavour - an Acorn Gathering event in the Ballygannon Wood. This event marks a significant step towards fostering sustainability and biodiversity, and its impact promises to reverberate far beyond the serene woodlands of Wicklow.
The Acorn Gathering Event
In the heart of the Wicklow Mountains, Guaranteed Irish is taking a step forward in fostering sustainability and biodiversity. Last month, as part of the Guaranteed Irish Forest initiative, Guaranteed Irish took part in an Acorn Gathering event organised by The Nature Trust in Ballygannon Wood, where 150kg of acorns were collected.
Ballygannon Wood is part of the Wicklow Oakwood, the second largest oak forest in Ireland. It is a ‘Mast Year’ for the wood, which is period of exceptionally high acorn production by oak trees. Mast years for oak trees only happen every 5-7 years depending on past and present weather conditions as it takes a lot of energy for the trees to produce its seeds. Guaranteed Irish was invited to collect the acorns that will become oak saplings and be planted all over the country in woodlands like the Guaranteed Irish Forest.
Dr Declan Little, who is a registered seed collector, and Ecological Lead at The Nature Trust oversaw the acorn collecting process and remarked: “It’s great to see so many acorns collected and to involve so many people in this important work, which is a real contribution to climate change mitigation and biodiversity enhancement. This collection of acorns will result in up to 15,000 oak seedlings which will be planted out across Ireland on greenfield sites that The Nature Trust has acquired for native woodland creation”.
Clémence Jamet, Guaranteed Irish Sustainability Manager, who participated to the event, reflected: “At Guaranteed Irish, we recognise the critical role that native woodlands play in preserving our country's unique biodiversity. Our partnership with The Nature Trust, and our recent acorn collection efforts, are a testament to our commitment to nurturing Ireland's natural heritage. By planting native Irish trees and gathering acorns, we are actively contributing to the restoration of our native woodlands, supporting a rich ground flora and fauna, and taking a significant step in the direction of a more biodiverse Ireland. We are delighted to see many of our members engage in this space and encourage others to also support Irish native trees."
For more information on the importance of acorn gathering you can watch this short video made by The Nature Trust.
The Guaranteed Irish Forest Initiative
The Guaranteed Irish Forest is established in partnership with the Nature Trust. It is one of Guaranteed Irish’s commitment to fostering biodiversity in Ireland and raising awareness on climate change mitigation as part of their alignment to the Sustainable Development Goal 13 on climate change. The Guaranteed Irish Forest will be planted with native Irish trees such as oak, holly, birch, alder, rowan, and hawthorn. Native woodlands are hot spots for native biodiversity, they support a rich ground flora and fauna including insects, birds and small mammals. Currently, only 11% of our country is covered by forests, with just 2% under native woodland. The Guaranteed Irish Forest project aims to plant around 40,000 tree saplings over three years, covering approximately 14 hectares. This forest will become a public amenity for local communities, fostering enjoyment for future generations.
The project is supported by a collective effort of Guaranteed Irish members. For more information visit our article on the Guaranteed Irish Forest initiative.