More than 400 trees are to be planted in one afternoon at Lough Lannagh, Castlebar, on Monday to mark National Tree Week.
The event, dubbed ‘Bring a Spade’, is being organised by Castlebar Tidy Towns and Mayo County Council, in association with the National Tree Council of Ireland.
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be digging in at the event to which community groups, schools, and families are being invited to roll up their sleeves and help shape the future of the lakeside town park.
The small saplings may not be a very impressive sight yet but as the trees — a mix of native species such as ash, oak, willow, and birch — mature over the coming decades, they will transform the park, according to Ger Deere, Castlebar Tidy Towns.
“This is a real investment in the future,” he said. “It is probably the biggest such tree planting in Castlebar and perhaps Mayo.
“This will really develop the biodiversity at Lough Lannagh and will enhance the work already being carried out by Castlebar Tidy Towns’ environmental officer, Patricia Conway.”
Mr Deere said the event is also a great opportunity for parents and schools to bring children along to be a part of something very special.
“It will be a real community event,” he said. “People will be able look back in years to come, when the trees are mature, and say that they planted a tree here in March 2015.”
Kay Hartigan, National Tree Council of Ireland, which is providing the saplings, said that within five years there will be significant growth at the site.
“Within 10 years, it will be an established woodland,” she said.
The event starts near the diving board at Lough Lannagh at 11am on Monday, March 2.