The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Councillor Audrey Wales MBE has planted a fruit tree in the new Greenisland Community Orchard to officially mark National Tree Week 2016.
Speaking as The Tree Council’s now annual National Tree Week was being taking place Councillor Wales said she was delighted to plant the first tree at Greenisland Community Orchard with the community then planting the rest of the site with 75 fruit trees, including apple, pear and plum.
The borough’s first citizen ssaid: “Participants also enjoyed other activities such as building a ‘bug hotel’, meeting some woodland creatures and even tasting orchard food and drink.
“I hope this site will now flourish and provide a valuable resource for the community for many years,” Councillor Wales added.
National Tree Week is the UK’s largest celebration of trees and the start of the winter tree planting season.
As part of their Tree Week celebrations, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s free activities across the Borough ranged from practical workshops in Ecos Nature Park, Ballymena and Bashfordsland Wood, Carrickfergus, to tree planting with school children in Larne.
The Mayor said: “Anyone can make a difference to biodiversity by adding a tree. Planting a tree is a very positive thing to do and is great fun, even in the depths of winter.
“There are plenty of reasons to get planting – it’s great exercise, children love it, and you’ll be making a valuable contribution to our local wildlife. Every tree counts.”
The first‐ever National Tree Week was held in 1975 to make Britain more tree‐conscious, encourage tree planting and promote awareness of the importance of proper care and maintenance of trees.
Pauline Buchanan Black, Director‐General of The Tree Council, said: “From joining activities and meeting neighbours, to planting a tree of their own, we aim to inspire people to grow not only new, healthy trees but together, grow the recognition that working together makes more sense than working alone and grow a more favourable environment for both people and trees.
“Tree Week marks the beginning of the tree planting season which runs right through to February.
“I would encourage everyone to get outdoors and plant a tree this winter, or simply enjoy the tremendous trees we already have in the wonderful Parks & Open Spaces in our borough,” she said.
For more information about Mid and East Antrim’s Tree campaign please contact the Parks & Open Spaces Department: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 02893 358231.
Mid and East Antrim Council launched its Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) for Mid and East Antrim Council back in December 2014.
The LBAP document sets out how biodiversity within the region can be protected and enhanced for the benefit of all, and for future generations.
Through this LBAP Mid & East Antrim Borough Council wants to encourage people to get involved in local biodiversity.