The Belfast Hills Partnership has been teaming up with Belfast City Council, the Woodland Trust and many other partners to help achieve the target of planting a million trees in Belfast over the next 15 years. Part of this ambitious work is happening through the creation of a native tree and wildflower nursery off the Glen Road on the edge of the Belfast Hills.
There has been a lot of talk and plans for planting trees to improve biodiversity and help stop the current climate crisis, but in order for this to happen you need to produce a sustainable, quality supply of local provenance trees. The Belfast Hills Partnership decided that to ensure that the wider Belfast area could look forward to a greener future it would step up and plant up trees grown from local tree seeds.
The native tree and wildflower nursey was completed just as lock down started, and now has an abundance of oaks, hazel and alder saplings now defiantly breaking through the soil. This work was made possible through the support of a wide range of partners – from Work West who provided the land for the nursery, to White Mountain Quarries who helped remove waste vegetation from the previously unused industrial waste land. Local company Natural World Products provided the compost free of charge, while financial support was generously provided by NIEA DAERA, Esmée Fairbairn, the National Lottery Community Fund’s Our Bright Future project and the Woodland Trust.
Judy Meharg Belfast Hill’s Project Officer said
“Trees not only generate oxygen and store carbon, but provide homes to a huge range of wildlife with a native Irish oak able to support up to 500 species, including red squirrels, barn owls, pipistrelle bats and tree sparrows.”
Laura Shiels Belfast Hill’s Environmental Engagement Officer said
“We are really excited about getting local people involved in this project. The native wildflower and tree nursey has an education area built into it which will enable children and adults alike to come along and learn about how plants grow. Currently a team of local volunteers join us every Tuesday to help develop our nursery, we couldn’t do it without them.”
If you are interested in getting involved in helping at the nursery, or are a school group who would like to visit please contact the Belfast Hills Partnership at [email protected] or phone 028 9060 3466.