A growing number of primary schools in the Swords area are now part of the Forest in a Box biodiversity project.

The project, which has been vigorously promoted by Cllr Joe Newman, saw students learn about many factors related to woodlands, including lessons in carbon mitigation and habitat.

The woodland project is provided free of charge to schools as generous funding has been provided by the Community Fund of Dublin Airport Authority and Fingal County Council.

In March 2018, students at Kilcoskan National School, The Ward, were taking a good look at their Dunemann Box with School principal, Ciarán Caulfield, and the Kilcoskan garden projects supervisor, Grainne

The Forest in a Box is being installed at schools by the Swords Woodland Association, with essential support from The Woodland League. Visiting the school on the day were three members of this new advocacy group, Myles Caulfield (Secretary), Councillor Joe Newman and the project lead Edward Stevenson.

Ciarán Caulfield said:

“The school expanded a few years ago and we had to totally re-arrange our outdoor activities. We came together as a school community and everyone agreed to save a bit of space to make a garden feature. It’s turned out well and we now have two trails with plants from just about every continent and further on it becomes what we call our meadow trail.

While it is a small space we also manage to have a vegetable planter for each class. We have fruiting trees and berries on the perimeter.

We found out about the Woodland Association tree project through one of our teachers, Trish and we were really pleased to see how it was compact, durable and very attractive. It fits in really well our other biodiversity projects. The Forest in a Box project is based on folk knowledge employed by a German forestry consultant who was invited to Ireland very early in the last century. The significant benefits of maintaining links to the natural environment are indisputable. These green projects in our garden space offer the children a lot of positives,”

Pictured at Kilcoskan NS are Cllr Joe Newman and members of Swords Woodland Group, with teachers and pupils as they display their Forest in a Box biodiversity project.