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.


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.



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.



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.


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.


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.