27th April 2013

One Million trees In one Day

One Million Trees in One Day is a charity, not-for-profit, cross border, community and environmental initiative which will plant a million young native trees at many different sites across both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in twenty four hours. Its true aim however is to establish individual trees and woodlands in both rural and urban areas that will grow for many years and which will provide valuable resources, beneficial ecosystem services and a lasting legacy for future generations.

One Million Trees in One Day has a strong commitment to the sustainable, low impact management of the trees and woodlands with particular emphasis on promoting strong biodiversity in and around the trees and woodlands. All woodland sites will be maintained under continuous cover and always with the explicit intention of developing and protecting an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable resource.

The trees will be planted on the day by a large team of both skilled tree planters and volunteers. Each woodland site will be assessed and analysed by the One Million Trees in One Day team in advance and detailed planting plans of appropriate species and planting densities will be drawn up. The land will be prepared and fenced where necessary before the day of planting to make the planting as efficient as possible. It is important that while the day will be something of a national challenge and will most likely generate a significant amount of publicity, the emphasis will be on the careful handling and correct planting of the trees. Effective planning and preparation will ensure that the quality of the planting is not affected by the short time-scale of the event.

The One Million Trees in One Day team is currently co-ordinating a large patchwork of sites to accommodate the one million trees. We are working with government landowners, councils, community groups, non-government organisations, farmers, schools, colleges and private landowners to source all of the land needed to plant the trees.

These trees will be of value from the moment they are planted and well beyond any of our lifetimes: the carbon sequestration, rainwater absorption, soil binding, air cooling, timber and biodiversity potential along with the benefits of educational and further tourism and leisure values all combine to make this a significant project environmentally, socially and economically. Ireland is one of the least forested countries in Europe; with climate change predicted to cost the global economy many billions over coming years, the value of these trees in terms of ecosystem services is worth noting.

We hope to capture the imagination of the people of Ireland and to include as many individuals, groups and communities as possible in the huge team that will bring the project to fruition. We will plant a large number of the trees in community areas and on school and university property with help from children and students. The young people of today will grow old with these trees and will ultimately be responsible for their care and protection; we hope to inspire genuine enthusiasm and interest in this project both immediately and for many years to come through our commitment to educational community involvement.

We are all living through a time where global economic and environmental instability bring daily news stories of financial misery and ecological crisis. One Million Trees in One Day wants to cheer everyone up. This is a story that will bring good news, not just for one day, but for many many years. We want to attract the attention and good will of the people of Ireland and show that, even during such difficult times, positive and forward thinking concepts can collectively and physically be brought fruition.

One Million Trees in One Day is a bold investment in the future; one day of work for many centuries of positive returns.