Westmeath Independent

Published: Friday, 22nd February, 2013 11:09am

Last chance for free saplings as part of National Tree Week

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Today, Friday, February 22 is the closing date for applications for free saplings as part of the local initiative for National Tree Week which runs from March 3- March 9. Last receipt of orders is 5pm this evening.

Westmeath County Council in conjunction with the Tree Council of Ireland and Coillte has a limited number of free saplings to give to schools, community groups etc. Trees can be collected at Belvedere House Garden & Parks from 10am - 4pm from Sunday March 3. Any trees not collected by the March 10 will be redistributed.

Belvedere House and Gardens in Mullingar is the location for the launch of National Tree Week 2013 on Sunday next, March 3, at 2 pm.

The launch, which is being organised jointly by the Tree Council of Ireland in association with Westmeath County Council and the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations will mark the start of Ireland's 29th National Tree Week taking place from March 3-9. In what promises to be a fun event for all the family, RTE presenter Éanna Ní Lamhna will officially launch the week with a tree planting ceremony and this will be followed by an afternoon of activities including guided history, nature and tree walks, story-telling, bee keeping displays, tree and wood related craft exhibitions, face painting and much more. This is a free family friendly event and everybody is welcome to come along and join in the fun.

National Tree Week is organised by the Tree Council of Ireland with the support of Coillte, and this year the theme is 'A Feast of Trees'.

With this theme, the Tree Council is asking people to recognise and celebrate the role of trees in providing food for human consumption as well as for birds, bees and other wildlife. The range of foods from trees - fruit, nuts, seeds, oils, leaves, roots and bark is being highlighted along with the relationship between trees, bees, pollination, and food crop production. The primary aim of National Tree Week is to encourage people to plant more trees and the emphasis in 2013 will be on planting trees that provide a food source for humans, birds, bees and other wildlife.

One of the main projects of National Tree Week 2013 is the distribution of over 15,000 trees, sponsored by Coillte, and distributed by local authorities throughout the country to local community groups and schools for planting during and around National Tree Week.

Tom Byrne, Corporate Communications Manager with Coillte said, 'Coillte is delighted to partner with the Tree Council again this year for National Tree Week. Positively contributing to the environment and to communities is a core value for Coillte and something we take great pride in. Coillte manages nearly 7% of the land of Ireland and has a vital role and responsibility in managing that land sustainably.'

More information about National Tree Week or to find an event taking place in your area visit www.treecouncil.ie. To book your trees contact 044 93 49060 or email info@belvedere-house.ie.

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