Council undertakes tree planting with schools at Ecclesville Forest Park

11th April 2022

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Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is currently undertaking enhancement works to improve the biodiversity and recreational amenities at Ecclesville Forest Park, Fintona.

The works included the harvesting of trees along the Ecclesville Road to remove the existing dense canopy of non-native conifers.  This will enable the light to penetrate through to the forest floor to promote a greater variety of biodiversity as well as protect the retained ancient woodland features.  These non-native trees are currently being replaced with native trees such as oak, birch and hazel.

The Council’s Biodiversity Team was joined by St Lawrence’s Primary School and Denamona Primary School, Fintona, the Council Chair, Councillor Errol Thompson, Cllrs Allan Rainey and Mark Buchanan, Members of the Ecclesville Forest Working Group, and Director of Environment and Place, John News to plant 100 native oak trees.

Speaking about the tree planting, Councillor Thompson, said

“The planting of native trees in Ecclesville Forest Park is important to ensure that it is sustainably managed for the future to protect our local biodiversity and provide a place which everyone can cherish and enjoy and where they can connect with nature while supporting overall health and wellbeing.

The planting of new native trees will contribute to the Council’s commitments to climate action and Nature Positive 2030 through increasing and maintaining tree cover to capture carbon, support biodiversity and improve soil quality.

I am delighted that we have been joined by pupils from the local Primary Schools so they can play their part in protecting the future of their local forest and learn the importance of trees and biodiversity”.

The use of native trees in the reforestation is very important as they have adapted to the local climate, soil type and wildlife and they can connect with other native habitats to ensure that local biodiversity, such as pine martens and red squirrels can flourish.  Trees support clean air, offer protection from flooding and store carbon, all of which help to address the impacts of climate change.

The forest management works being undertaken underpins the Council’s agreed outcome within the Fermanagh and Omagh Community Plan 2030 to ensure our outstanding and culturally rich environment is cherished, sustainably managed and appropriately accessible.

Further works being undertaken to promote biodiversity include the removal of the invasive rhododendron and laurel which suppress native flora and wildlife and adversely impact on the regeneration of native trees and shrubs.

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