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Minister Smith Marks National Tree Week

Brendan Smith TD, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, today marked 'National Tree Week' with tree planting ceremonies at St. Tiarnach's National School, St. Michael's National School, Cootehill and Aughadreena National School.

The theme of this year's National Tree Week, which takes place from 7th to 13th March 2010, is 'Twenty Ten - Plant Again' to encourage people to make a renewed effort to go out and plant more trees during the week.  This year, 15,000 trees sponsored by Coillte, will be distributed to community groups by local authorities all over the country. Events planned to mark National Tree Week include forest walks, tree planting ceremonies, workshops, talks and competitions.

Visiting the schools, the Minister congratulated the Tree Council of Ireland on their organisation of so many varied and interesting events and activities for the annual National Tree Week and encouraged people to attend such events and avail of the opportunity to appreciate trees and their many benefits.

Commenting on National Tree Week, Minister Smith said, 'A specific week designated as National Tree Week gives us the opportunity to raise awareness about trees and their many benefits.  Even though they are a major part of our landscape, the significance of trees can sometimes be underestimated so National Tree Week provides us with an invaluable opportunity to appreciate the value of trees and the importance of planting more trees so that future generations may also enjoy those benefits'.

Minister Smith noted, in particular, the contribution forestry makes by way of employment, climate change mitigation, enhancement of biodiversity and the provision of recreational facilities as well as its traditional role as the source of timber and wood energy.

The Minister thanked the staff and pupils at the schools for hosting the tree planting ceremonies and concluded by encouraging people to take part in the programme of events and activities organised for the week.

Date Released: 08 March 2010