Native tree school projects for 2019

In 2018 our Agenda 21 funding from The Department of Environment and FCC has been spent giving three new tree boxes to local schools.

In the first week of December we met with 20 students at Holy Family Junior National School in River Valley.  Two copy nature tree boxes made from larch wood supplied by Creative Fingal were installed and the children took part in sowing acorns. The conversation involved a question and answer session which included discussions about air pollution and biodiversity. A follow up visit is in the works and we want to thank Declan Power and the HFJNS staff for their enthusiasm and help.

More recently we went to St. Finian’s Secondary School at the invitation of Ciaran Burke who teaches Horticulture and Forestry at 5th and 6th level. With the help of his students we placed another tree nursery box in the grounds of their campus on Jugback Lane. We hope Ciaran and some of his students will give a short presentation to local officials on proposals for the Broadmeadow Linear Park as part of National Tree Week 2019.

The three school projects started in 2017 have also been extended with a new crop of trees expected early in the Summer. Those schools are in St Margaret’s, Rivermeade and Coolquay.

Growing native trees from seed in Swords

Our copy nature tree nursery box at Kilcoskan NS

The Swords Woodland Association, supported by the DAA Community Fund, engaged with local schools in a native tree propagation project.

The project involves the production of broad leaf trees which promote habitat, biodiversity and well being.

The project has already increased awareness of biodiversity among primary school students and their parents. Our tree project also spurs interest in other Grow initiatives which are promoted by the INTO,  the Tree Council and environmental NGO’s.


In our inaugural 2017 project the schools had the task of managing a Dunemann box, which is a copy nature tree growing technology. Our members assisted by providing classroom material, seed and leaf mulch. There are currently 85-100 oak saplings growing as a result of the project. Other tree species being grown include beech, maple and birch.

Our ambition is to organise a conifer project to include propagation of native Scots pine.

Following a successful application for financial support from the DAA Community Fund we created a partnership with three local schools

  • St Margaret’s NS and Principal Ms Ciara Gaughan
  • Kilcoskan NS and Principal Mr Ciaran Caulfield
  • Mary Queen of Ireland NS and Principal Ms Aileen O'Donnell

We had great response to our outreach and the teachers and pupils were very engaged. Our encouraging results were down to the care and attention provided by the Green teams in the local schools.

Current funding under Agenda 21 is being considered by Fingal County Council to acquire poly tunnels and allow for ongoing and expanded education projects by Swords Woodland Association.


New trees at Mary Queen of Ireland NS

Eventually, given the possibility that we will produce an annual harvest of new trees we will engage with County officials and civil society to determine how these trees can improve the parklands which are available to all the people of Swords. We are particularly interested in seeing how our native tree stocks can be used in future expansion of the Ward River Valley Regional Park.

We are very grateful to Fingal PPN, and Jamie Moore its Director, who is creating a very dynamic framework to bring local community groups into closer and more productive alliances.