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Minister of State Hayes Launches National Tree Week

Tom Hayes, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, today launched National Tree Week 2014 at an event organised by National Tree Council in Powerscourt Estate Gardens in Co. Wicklow.

Organised by the Tree Council of Ireland, National Tree Week is an annual week long series of events to celebrate and to foster an appreciation of trees and their importance in our communities. As part of Tree Week, a wide range of activities and events have been organised throughout the country, including a number of tree planting events with some 15,000 saplings being donated by Coillte Teoranta.

Launching National Tree Week, Minister of Hayes said: “As we are here to mark the start of National Tree Week, it is fitting that we consider the recreational and amenity value that our forests provide. After all, this is what National Tree Week is about, encouraging us to go out and enjoy a woodland walk and to appreciate the natural beauty of our countryside and especially of our trees and forests.”

The Minister of State added “In my capacity as Minister of State with responsibility for forestry, I have spoken often of the importance of our trees and forests. A century ago, Ireland’s forests represented just 1% of our land area. Decades of investment in afforestation by the State has helped to increase that to 10.5%, according to the latest results from my Department’s 2012 National Forest Inventory. This State investment has helped to create a sustainable natural resource, providing the raw material for a vibrant forest products sector that makes a significant contribution to the economy”. He also noted a number of environmental benefits derived from forestry in addition to their recreational value.

Minister Hayes congratulated “the Tree Council of Ireland and all its member organisations for the hard work that has gone into organising today’s launch and all the events that make up National Tree Week. I must also thank the main sponsors, SSE Airtricity and Coillte Teoranta for their support.”

View Press Release as PDF: DAFMPR 24/2014 (pdf 634Kb) 

Date Released: 03 March 2014