Biodiversity Week event on 26th May 2019 – Setting up Native Tree Nursery.

Weather was favourable and 42 people attended.

I started with apology to Mother Earth for drawing people to this event (or any event) by virtue of the fact that I did not walk, or cycle to it nor did any of those attending. No, I arrived in my diesel guzzling jeep leaving a trail of fumes behind me. This caught me emotionally and I broke down. Not sure if out of pity, embarrassment, or appreciation I got a round of applause. I assumed in the large crowd there would be some who would know as much if not more than me about trees or even be foresters. I said I was not a forester but can grow trees and had sold hundreds of thousands of whitethorn quicks. I was now growing native hedgerow trees to increase hedge biodiversity and I wanted to inspire others to do likewise. As a farmer I had been a bad boy and removed hedges 30 years ago with Dept grants. In the last few years I have replaced all hedges and planted many trees to redress my environmental desecration – so there is redemption for us all if we want it. I then moved through the nursery outlining seed collection dates, storage requirements, showing procedure etc., without technical overload. The plants sown in nursery are Whitethorn, Blackthorn, Crab apple, Wild cherry, Oak, Hazel, Holly, Rowan, Willow, Whitebeam, Wild pear and Alder. I had a few potted plants of all the above varieties and gifted them to people as I worked through the nursery. I notified 4 local schools about the event and was disappointed that none of them attended. Finally, I made a “binding” pact with all present to walk out, identify trees for seed collection and grow a few trees. The Tree Nursery will remain a standing demonstration plot into the future as the trees grow in this public place.

John Mc Keon