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Fourth year of treeplanting at Ringaskiddy
Sunday December 02, 2007 22:37 by John
Yesterday, a group of 15-20 Cork Harbour inhabitants, displaying a flagrant and foolhardy disregard for official warnings to stay away from the coast, braved the elements to undertake wildcat eco-restoration work at Gobby Strand, Ringaskiddy erstwhile site of Indaver’s proposed toxic waste incinerator now reclaimed as a People’s Forest.
Arriving in small groups around lunchtime the group shared tea and cake and then embarked on the latest stage of an ambitious long range plan to convert this site into a resource to balance out the appalling social, ecological and economic damage done to the Cork harbour area by 30 yrs + of the chemical, pharmaceutical and now biological industry.
Present at the action were members of CHASE, the Cork Polish community, Cork Greenmap Project and the CAZ as well as individuals. Before planting there was a brief introductory meeting where the history of the project as well as the practicalities of planting this site were explained. A member of CHASE drew attention to the fact that next Sat 8th Dec is Stop Climate Chaos Day and filled in on the present stage of the anti-incinerator campaign. It seems that on the point of the start of the court case taken to halt development of the incinerator some European legislation has been introduced that calls the policy of building incinerators into question with the result court proceedings are on hold and Indaver’s plans are yet again stalled.
Getting to work, the activists planted trees, cleared footpaths and maintained previous plantings which are doing well, with the more experienced ones showing others how to do it. The gardeners amongst the group collected sea weed from the beach for their own land. The weather veered between clear sunny skies and wind and rain though the heralded storm largely stayed away till the end. As we drove away the wind was getting up and the seas were starting to rise.
A participant at the action said:
“This is the fourth year that people have come here to plant trees and put into practice their desire for a better future. This activity is developing into a tradition and all communities, businesses, organizations and individuals should take responsibility for their time on this planet and do like us. The society we are born into makes it hard to avoid living against our own best interests. We are entering a time of unprecedented upheaval and the actions that have the best chance of bringing us through this must come from the ground up. Enough individuals acting collectively and persistently can create the changes we need. If we don’t trust in ourselves and act we can forget it!
Planting a tree is a simple action that nearly anyone can do that has potential repercussions over hundreds of year. This action is a small part of a movement that needs to get much bigger. Just as enough trees wisely planted can restore and regulate ecosystems so when we work together in growing forests we help restore and regulate our human communities as well as developing economies more lasting and healthy than those that deal in euro and cents.”
A further illustration of the benefits of this type of action was the satisfaction expressed by scratched and sweaty participants after a few hours digging holes and slashing at brambles. It seems as our western lives become more sedentary and convenient so we become less healthy. For us to be alive today our ancestors must have survived predators, famine, disease, earthquakes, extremes of climate and more recently the church, the feudal system, the industrial revolution and war. It seems that we evolved under conditions of some stress. That it can be good to remove all physical exertion, challenge and danger from our lives seems unlikely. Our bodies need a bit of this or we become frustrated, depressed and unhealthy not to mention all the secondary damage we cause by trying to relieve these feelings through inappropriate means.
Forget the gym, the pub and shopping! What better way to bring the edge back into life than by immediately embarking on the adventure of restoring our habitats and ecosystems while dismantling and replacing the structures and institutions that got us into this mess in the first place?
There was a general agreement to meet back at the site some time in February to do more work and bring more folk along. Watch this space!
Practical Info (Lift from events notice article re treeplanting tips)
Also: Tie bright coloured material round outer branches of tree to find later.
Existing woodlands are important, especially ones that you know to be ancient, they are reservoirs of vital biodiversity that must be preserved and strengthened, they are sources of seed for growing more trees and decaying matter or mulch, this can be added to the soil around planted trees, helping establish a good microflora in the soil.
Call to the site any time, to work try to bring someone who knows a bit about trees
Be respectful and sensitive to other peoples’ work
Share your skills and knowledge
Please try and record your work for posterity and planning
See map that we're gonna make
Make friends while yr doing it
Things to Bring: Waterproof clothing; Leggings, Jackets (beware brambles) and Boots
Flask with hot drink
Basic first aid, plasters etc
Native or appropriate trees
Tools for slashing clearing, digging
Cameras and video and notebooks – Record what you do if you can – don’t worry if you can’t
Please use this information. Let communities all over take this up. Ta