SWA Operational Plan 2020 – 2024

Please click the image below to download and view the Swords Woodland Association’s Operational Plan 2020 – 2014.

The document will describe the Association’s background and objectives, and will go on to describe our work to date and our plans for the next four years and beyond.

As a voluntary organisation, we are reliant on support and funding from other agencies and individuals and dependant on buy in from the local community in order to achieve our goals.


Science Week 2019

Science Foundation Ireland’s Science Week 2019 ran from Sunday 10th to Sunday 17th November. A total of 1300 trees donated by Coillte and Crann were planted in Ward River Valley “The Jacko” and Broadmeadow Linear Park over the course of the week – a mix of oak, alder, willow and birch.

Working with Orla Farrell’s easytreesie/ Plant for The Planet project, we engaged students and teachers from three primary schools and one secondary; Swords ET, Thornleigh ET, Mary Queen of Ireland NS., St. Cronan’s NS and St. Finian’s Community College, using tools funded by Dublin Airport Authority.

Volunteers from Swords Tidy Towns, River Valley & Rathingle Tidy Towns, Broadmeadow Community Gardens and Dublin Friends of the Earth joined in the fun alongside SWA volunteers, with valued support provided by Fingal County Council management and staff.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all who took part, and we look forward to seeing you all again in Spring 2020 for more tree planting.


Saplings for Science Week 2019

Science Foundation Ireland’s Science Week 2019 ran from Sunday 10th to Sunday 17th November. A total of 1300 trees donated by Coillte and Crann were planted in Ward River Valley “The Jacko” and Broadmeadow Linear Park over the course of the week – a mix of oak, alder, willow and birch.

Working with Orla Farrell’s easytreesie/ Plant for The Planet project, we engaged students and teachers from three primary schools and one secondary; Swords ET, Thornleigh ET, Mary Queen of Ireland NS., St. Cronan’s NS and St. Finian’s Community College, using tools funded by Dublin Airport Authority.

Volunteers from Swords Tidy Towns, River Valley & Rathingle Tidy Towns, Broadmeadow Community Gardens and Dublin Friends of the Earth joined in the fun alongside SWA volunteers, with valued support provided by Fingal County Council management and staff.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all who took part, and we look forward to seeing you all again in Spring 2020 for more tree planting.


SWA National Tree Week Event 2019

The Swords Woodland Association event for National Tree Week 2019 took place in The Atrium of Fingal County Council Offices in Swords on Tuesday 2nd of April.

The event was opened by the chairman of Swords Woodland Association, Gerry White.

Our best known local archivist Ms. Bernadette Marks recounted how trees and parks have featured in Swords over the last decades.


Filip Jastrzebski from The Afforestation Project explained some social media tools being developed for community tree planting projects. The Afforestation Project aim to plant a large number in Ireland by 2021 in an attempt to inspire the world to carry out a massive tree plantation project to mitigate climate change. For more information visit the Facebook page.


Ciaran Burke and a number of students from St. Finians Community College gave a presentation on how they have developed a Horticulture Curriculum in their school and how they are also very excited about the prospect, in the next twelve months, of getting funding to setup they’re very own Polytunnel.

The school also received a Biodiversity Certificate from Gerry White to recognise the achievement of the teachers and pupils in completing the ‘Grow a Native Locally’ Project.

The ‘Grow a Native Tree Locally’ Initiative is supported by Fingal County Council and The Dublin Airport Authority Community Fund.


Orla Farrell from Easy Treesie – Plant for the Planet gave us a very interesting presentation. Easy Treesie want to help every schoolchild plant a tree to combat climate change. They organise tree planting days for children. They aim to plant a million trees by December 2023. EasyTreesie.com


Dominca McKevitt, Head Gardener at Ardgillan Castle and Demesne was there and very generously brought almost 100 trees with her and we held the inaugural Free Tree Day in Swords sponsored by Final County Council. A large number of these trees were provided to St. Finians Community College.



Invitation to plant for the Planet

This coming Saturday, January 26th in Malahide, Dublin, parents and children (8 - 14) are invited to come along and plant a tree.

Please see the leaflet below for full details.


Inaugural General Meeting

The Swords Woodland Association Inaugural General Meeting took place on Monday 25th of February 2019 at the Carnegie Court Hotel. The event was a great success and extremely well attended by very interested people.

Among the items discussed were the aims and potential of the Association. Links that have already been made with Fingal County Council and the DAA. Also a discussion on the new constitution and a presentation of the accounts.

The new constitution was approved and an election of the new committee took place.

  • Chairperson - Gerry White
  • Secretary - Myles Caulfield
  • Treasurer - John Drinane

The Association AGM will take place this coming November.


Destruction of Ushers Wood

An SWA Ambassador has brought to our attention that the Ushers Lake area of Ward River Valley Park has been vandalised. As you can imagine we are completely appalled by such behaviour. We immediately contacted the Senior Parks Superintendent of Fingal County Council to ask if he could rectify the situation. He did reply to say that although the council have reached an agreement with the current owner of the area in relation to the transfer of these lands, it is not yet complete and therefore the council are unable to address this matter for now. But he did say that they will address the situation as soon as the transfer has been completed. Below is the original post from our Facebook page and also a message received from the council by Cllr Joe Newman.


Post and photographs by Brian M Whelan

‘Have not been down the valley for a while with my camera. To tell you the truth I am shocked and saddened at the amount of vandalism that has happened in the wake of the concrete structure been taken down by the council. Soon it appears there will be nothing left but bottles, cans and rubble in the river. All of the old structures are being interfered with, bricks pulled out of the underside of bridges, soil removed. Someone needs to act now, Trees have been felled with axes and chainsaws too.’


Cllr Joe Newman:

I have had a conversation with the officials in the council responsible for the park and its environs, The transfer of ownership of these lands are going through a legal process at this point of time so the council do not own this land yet. The council intend to develop this area in a sensitive manner and hope to restore historical structures to their original state. In the meantime it would be in the national interest if residents would keep and eye on this area and report any destruction of historical structures to the Gardai in the first instance. I will convey any issues of concern to the council officials and I will be working to ensure the immediate preservation of this area.



Wildlife Photographs

Have you observed the birds or wildlife that currently reside in the Ward River area or it’s environs?

If so we’d love to hear from you, especially if you have taken any photographs. Please email your photographs and information to info@swordswoodland.ie and we will display the best of them here and throughout the site.

We’re delighted with the response so far!


Ken Doyle

Everyone who knew one of our founding members Ken Doyle never doubted his deep esteem for Nature. He exuded the innate understanding of how living in an urban setting could profit from that connection. And in that sense the word profit has never been more agreeable. He had no doubt that forestry and woodlands are intrinsic to a healthier community.

His frequent grandfatherly excursions to amenities like Howth or Malahide Castle attest to his determination to make Nature a normal part of life. Ken was also deeply interested in how the public could have a stake in land use policy and decisions. That ethos has become a key objective of this Association which he helped create.

And of course it’s impossible to ignore his great fondness for golf which was rooted in well being and a greening of his day to day existence.

Ken was always involved in projects to educate, which was made simpler because of his incredible ability to connect with others. He contributed to policy with the Green Party and was a long-time activist with the Woodland League, in particular the campaign to save our publicly owned forests when they were targeted by the Troika in 2011.

For the past several years Ken also worked on another aspect of public life. This was his remarkable commitment to care for the elderly in the North Dublin Bay area that he knew and loved. A great friend of his from that area, Dublin City Councillor John Lyons, has shared his recollections:

“Can you make it now? Are you sure? I want to introduce to a few people, you’ll enjoy it, they’re great people.” A “Golden Years” Christmas party in a north Dublin hotel at the end of 2015 organised by the Darndale Belcamp Village Centre saw Ken move around the entire room chatting and laughing with so many of the patrons of the Golden Years service that Ken was involved with, a vital community service that provides free home maintenance, local transport and day-care services for the older residents of Darndale and Belcamp. As their local People Before Profit councillor Ken was determined that I connect with as many people as possible.

It was obvious to all there that afternoon how much affection they had for Ken, and how much fun he had with them. When he involved himself in a project or campaign, Ken gave it his all, his enthusiasm, passion and dedication were genuinely inspiring. It is important to say, however, with regard to his work with the elderly of Dublin 17, there was also a raw anger at a political system and class of politician that had impacted and continued to impact negatively upon so many in the area. So there he was in the middle of it helping in the present through his work with the Golden Years service as well as being a dedicated political activist who believed that we could collectively change the world, for the better.

The word betterment sums up the ethos that Ken used to inform his public and private life. He is deeply missed by the family that was the mainspring of his being.

As our organisation builds momentum towards a healthier community blessed with ever better and greener amenities for everyday wellness we shall be putting Ken’s ethos into the heart of Swords.

 

For Ken Doyle (1951-2017)

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

John Keats


People for Trees celebrate National Tree Week 2018

Shankill Tidy Towns and Crann – Trees for Ireland supported by DLR Parks celebrated National Tree Week – Seachtain Náisiúnta na gCrann – with numerous tree planting ceremonies throughout Shankill during that week.

These tree plantings complemented Shankill’s ‘Trees for All’ project where more than 15,000 trees have been planted there since the project started in 2012. The objective, now exceeded, was to plant one tree for every resident in Shankill (over 13,500).

Crann, an organisation to promote education and awareness around trees and woodlands and an active member of DLR PPN, has partnered DLR on a number of interesting projects in the county. Most recently, Crann partnered with DLR in the tree planting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new Stonebridge Public Park in Shankill.

The snow had melted but a cold wind still blew across the park on the 7th March as Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD planted a tree to formally declare the park open.