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Minister Wallace launches 2006 Tree Day - 'Year of the Ash'

Ms Mary Wallace TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food with responsibility for forestry, launched National Tree Day at Kentstown Primary School, Co Meath this morning.

Tree Day, which takes place this year on Thursday, 12 October, is dedicated by many schools throughout the country to studying trees, with the aim of promoting a wider understanding of trees and woodland especially amongst children. It is organised by the Tree Council of Ireland with funding from Tetra Pak, the Department of Agriculture and Food, and ENFO.

The Tree Council of Ireland has forwarded a resource pack to all primary schools around the country detailing over forty topics on trees. Over 120 woodlands have been designated for primary schools to bring their pupils to learn more about the environment and trees.

During her talk to the pupils and teachers at the school, Minister of State Wallace highlighted some of the many benefits of trees and woodlands to society including creating employment and the production of raw materials for thousands of end uses. Referring to the theme of this year's Tree Day - 'Bliain na Fuinseoige' or 'Year of the Ash', she reminded the children that "while ash has a number of uses of ash, we are all familiar with it as the wood that hurleys are made from".

The Minister of State also launched the 'Irish Tree Trivia' booklet printed by Aisling Books in association with the Tree Council. The booklet contains 100 pieces of information about trees. Minister of State Wallace noted, from the booklet that, in relation to ash, the theme of this year's Tree Day, "the tallest native tree in Ireland is an ash near Clonmel, Co Tipperary, which is 40 metres tall".

The Minister of State thanked the Tree Council of Ireland for giving all primary school children the opportunity to learn more about out trees and woodlands as it is important to encourage public awareness of trees and forestry.

9 October 2006

Date Released: 09 October 2006