We are excited to announce the launch of ‘The Burren Pine Project‘ , a new initiative that gives individuals and businesses the opportunity to help restore the native pine tree which once dominated the Burren landscape, but is now on the brink of extinction, to the region.
The beautiful Pinus sylvestris, thought to have died out in Ireland around 1,500 years ago, was later reintroduced from Scotland, leading to its common name ‘Scots pine’. However, recent investigations by scientists at Trinity College Dublin found that an isolated population of native pine trees survived at a remote site in the Burren, Co. Clare. These native trees appear to have maintained their continuity in the area over the last 2,000 years and are genetically distinct from the introduced Scots pine trees.
Brendan Dunford, Secretary of the Burrenbeo Trust says, ‘’These trees are the only confirmed stand of native pine trees in Ireland. They are extremely rare and of high conservation value. Our ambition at the Burrenbeo Trust is to help restore these pine-dominated woodland communities in the Burren by planting several small ‘mini-forests’ across the region which will act as ‘nurseries’ for the future expansion of this wonderful ‘almost lost’ species across Ireland. The Burren Pine Project offers a chance for us all to bring back an important ‘lost’ species to Ireland’s natural flora, to further enhance the already special biodiversity of the Burren and to invest in the future of the region through the community and conservation work of the Burrenbeo Trust.”
Seeds from the isolated population of native pines in the Burren have been collected under license from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, nurtured and grown in a local nursery in individual pots, and are ready to be planted out.
“Burrenbeo has identified several local landowners who are generously willing to donate small plots of land to host these trees in perpetuity. The land used for planting will be species-poor so there will be no biodiversity loss. We also have a team of conservation volunteers who will plant, protect and manage the trees and the sites. Our ambition is to plant 500 native pine trees per year, but we need sponsorship support to do so” says Annalisa Murphy, Coordinator of the Burrenbeo Trust.
For every €100 invested, Burrenbeo will plant one native pine tree which will cover the cost of the tree (as well as three native ‘companion’ trees), the land on which it will grow and its chemical-free maintenance, while also supporting Burrenbeo Trust’s work in shaping a brighter future for the communities of the Burren and their special place.
Annalisa Murphy continues, “Burrenbeo will provide certificates for all trees planted, provide regular updates on the status of the ‘mini-forests’ and invite contributors to participate in annual events relating to the planted trees. This offer is available on a first come, first served basis and is the perfect gift to family, friends or a great alternative for those businesses who can’t have their office tree or party this Christmas!
For further information please visit https://burrenbeo.com/the-burren-pine-project/
To sponsor the restoration of a Burren pine woodland please visit our Online Shop.
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