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Young farmers get digging at Mossley Park!

23 February 2018

It may not be usual to see a crowd of young farmers all armed with their spades at Mossley Park but that is exactly what happened as part of the Ulster Wildlife’s Grassroots Challenge Projects and the One Million Trees in One Day Initiative. 

This ambitious project aims to plant a million young native trees right across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland – all in the space of 24 hours - with landowners, farmers and the public encouraged to take part.

Members from both Crumlin YFC and Kells and Connor YFC turned up on the cold Saturday morning and worked hard to plant almost 1000 native trees including hawthorn, blackthorn, holly, hazel and rowan.

The Grassroots Challenge aims to inspire young people to take action for the environment within their local communities, thanks to National Lottery players.

Shona Campbell, Grassroots Challenge Officer with Ulster Wildlife said, “This was a fantastic opportunity for young farmers to make their mark on the landscape and to leave a lasting legacy for future generations. The new trees will help provide a welcome boost to our native woodland cover in Northern Ireland, which is less than 8%, as well as providing many benefits to both wildlife and people, for years to come. I would like to thank Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council for providing a site.”

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council welcomed the Young Farmers Club to the site and the opportunity to work in partnership with Ulster Wildlife.  The Council are dedicated to improving parks and open spaces for both people and wildlife.  Mossley Park has been the location for a number of tree planting initiatives involving local schools, which has seen the removal of approximate 1/3 of the post mature coniferous trees being replaced by native broadleaved.

Kerry Given, Crumlin YFC Secretary, added: “Crumlin YFC members were only glad to help and take part in the event which promoted greater biodiversity in the Mossley Park area and gave them another opportunity to get involved in the local community. We all had great fun working alongside Kells and Connor's members.  We think it will be great for some of the members to return in years to come and see what a difference a couple of hours of tree-planting can make to the future!”