Nature based solutions to climate change

In this section of the Action Plan we are encouraged to find space in our community for new woodlands, improved habitats and projects to increase biodiversity.

The photos below are an example of how an active and thoughtful partnership between our nature based NGO and Fingal County Council resulted in revitalisation of an open space in Santry Demesne.

Last November we planted some saplings (about 80) with a bit of help from the local Community Garden members. Our trees were planted in two designated areas which are being retained as meadowland. Most of the photos are of oaks but there are also some birch and beech in the new woodland. While we would really like to plan for green assets like this in Swords, the Santry park is a very beautiful and well maintained space with lots of established trees.

We were delighted with the opportunity to plant more trees in Fingal. It was great to find a committed partner in the shape of Joe Daly from FCC Operations.

Based on the results of our working together last year we hope to build more opportunities this winter… a bit closer to home.We would welcome any ideas or excited volunteers. Although we will need to observe all public health guidelines!

 

by SWA Member Edward Stevenson


AGM 2020

Agenda for the Second Annual General Meeting of
The Swords Woodland Association

Via Zoom @ 8 PM, 3rd September 2020

  1. Apologies for Absence
  2. Minutes of A.G.M. held on 25th February 2019
  3. President’s Report
  4. Secretary’s Report
  5. Treasurer’s Report
  6. Field Officer’s Report
  7. Constitution changes
    (a) Removal of Section 8, (a) which states;
    (a) The Group will hold an Annual General Meeting (A.G.M.) in the month of November.
    (b) and replace it with;
    (a) A general meeting of the Swords Woodland Association shall be held annually or within 15 months of the previous AGM.
  8. Election of members of the committee.
    ( Not to exceed 11, from which the committee will elect the officers.)
  9. A. O. B.


Chairman’s Report Swords Woodland Association 2019 – 2020

Swords Woodland Association was founded just 3 years ago and in that time we have worked hard on various projects and initiatives to make a difference in the greater Swords Area.

Our objectives are outlined below, and we have and will continue to liaise with Fingal County Council and other Agencies and Companies to pursue these objectives in the short and medium term.

Swords Woodland Association seeks to create a well-planned quality of life for those who live, work and visit the Greater Swords Area through the maintenance, enhancement and sustainable development of our woodlands and existing green belt. We support land use planning that recognises the benefits of forestry, woodlands, allotments and community gardens in generating healthy urban communities. We advocate direct input to policy makers.

We believe that our community needs to understand the challenges of decreasing biodiversity, climate change, river basin protection, flood attenuation and other issues that may arise more quickly than we wish. We will join with others in the sharing of relevant information.

We seek to link new and existing transport commitments to land use plans that sustainably address the housing and movement needs of citizens. SWA strongly advocates for the enhancement and further development of pedestrian and cycling options in the Greater Swords Area.

Guided by the belief that wellbeing is a social asset, SWA advocates for properly scaled eco-tourism initiatives that offer the benefits of outdoor pursuits and exercise to all citizens of and visitors to the Greater Swords Area. We seek a climate of genuine partnership and engagement within communities that will assist in defining constructive and sustainable goals.

As Chairman I would like I would also like thank Fingal County Council and The Dublin Airport Authority for their continued support with our efforts and all other sponsors and groups that have supported us.

Finally, I would like to thank all our officers, committee members and volunteers for all their hard work and dedication. Swords Woodland Association has come a long way in a few short years and together we can look forward to working hard to making a difference for all in the greater Swords area in the future.

Gerry White


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!