Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tree Nursery Project at Donadea Forest, October 2012

In the autumn of 2012 we carried out our LA21 funded project - Native Tree Nursery Project at Donadea Forest in North Kildare. We worked with three local primary schools, three different classes, 2nd class from Scoil Naomh Mhuire, 4th class from Rathcoffey NS and 6th class from Tir Moghan NS.

The schools came to Donadea for a full immersion in the woods, we gathered tree seeds from the sweet chestnut, maple, beech, sycamore, Hawthorne berries and rosehips from the wild rose, horse chestnut and a small amount of ash keys, there were no oak to be found this year, and we were too late for hazel.

We also played various sensory games to raise the childrens' awareness of their surroundings, we did bug hunts and pond dips, and had wonderful days all in all in the woods.

We followed this up with a trip to the schools to build and set up a tree nursery in the school itself. With the class we built a small raised bed, filled it with soil and leaf mould, and then put in our gathered tree seeds, in separate sections so we can identify the baby trees as they grow, this was topped with leaves to replicate the forest floor, a system called the Dunemann System.

To finish we made a wire mesh lid to keep the vermin at bay, mice especially love to eat tree seeds. And tree nursery beds done. The class have to keep an eye on the beds, water it in especially droughty periods and take the lid off in spring when the trees hopefully start to grow!