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Community Life Appeal supports Woodland Trust Northern Ireland

17 September 2020

Tune into BBC NI this September to find out from the Woodland Trust how you can play your part in the fight against climate change. The Woodland Trust plants millions of trees around the UK every year, campaigning to protect ancient woodland and repairing damage to ancient woods.

The Woodland Trust has been operating in Northern Ireland since 1996 and manages woodlands across the country with planting projects in the Faughan Valley, the Glens of Antrim and the Mournes. Earlier this year, The Woodland Trust planted the single largest native woodland in Northern Ireland at Aughrim Hill, where around 100,000 trees were planted.

The Woodland Trust Northern Ireland will feature in the Community Life programme to be aired 27 September. Community Life is BBC Northern Ireland television’s Broadcast Appeal programme and it allows local charities to raise awareness of their activities and campaigns.

Ian McCurley, Director for the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland said: “We live in a beautiful rural land where some 70% of our countryside is in agriculture. Right now Northern Ireland is the least wooded country in Europe, with just 8% woodland cover compared to a European average of 38%. To tackle the UK climate crisis we need to increase woodland cover by 30,000 hectares a year between now and 2050. We’re a small country, but with the support of everyone around us we can play our part. We need to plant more trees and woods in Northern Ireland for people, climate and nature.”

The appeal was filmed at Brackfield Wood in the Faughan Valley, an area of outstanding natural beauty and fragmented ancient woodland, stretching along the river from Oaks Wood to Killaloo Wood. Award-winning poet Sam Burnside MBE, whose poetry adorns the literary trail at Brackfield Wood, narrated the short film. He speaks about the inspiration behind much of his work as well as explaining the benefits of trees.

Sam said: “The Faughan valley is a magical place that has given writers like me so much inspiration. Trees provide us with one of the great dramas of nature, – changing with the seasons – spring, summer, autumn, winter. Trees are more than beautiful though: they are useful, they are necessary and they are vital to our lives on this planet. Trees can solve many of our climate challenges: they absorb Carbon Dioxide, providing us with clean air and they reduce erosion, preventing problems like flooding.”

Play your part in the fight against climate change; find out more from the Woodland Trust on BBC1 this Sunday afternoon on Community Life or visit woodlandtrust.org.uk/join to find how you can support.