From little seeds grow mighty trees

by Michael O’Neill, Mayor of Clonakilty

February was a month where the climate was never far from our attention here in West Cork. Firstly we had the political climate reach its height with an exciting election. Then we had one storm after another roll in off the Atlantic. It seemed like we went from one weather warning to the next. Thankfully there was no major damage but it does make you think are we seeing the effects of climate change?

We also had the people of Clonakilty showcase the amazing things that they are doing to combat climate change in front of the RTE cameras on nationwide. It made me so proud to see Clonakilty featured out of all the towns in Ireland for such an important issue like climate change. Once again Clonakilty is leading the charge! It was also great to see the whole community get behind it, from the children of the Gaelscoil to the business community of the Chamber of Commerce with its Cool Clon initiative.

I was honoured to be able to speak on the programme about the Clonakilty Tree Planting Project. Of course trees are one of our most important protectors against climate change.

The Clonakilty Tree Planting Project was started by Christopher O’Sullivan and myself so it is great to be able to continue working with him seeing that he is no longer mayor of the county after having been elected as a TD. It must be rare for a town to have two mayors and it was great to share so many events with him.

From the acorns of a group that Christopher and myself planted, the Clonakilty tree-planting project has evolved into a really special group of people. It is amazing to see the huge amount of talented people from across West Cork who turn up, week in, week out, eager to help plant trees around Clonakilty. It really is hugely inspiring and a testament to the truly special volunteer spirit here in West Cork.

We have already created some fantastic forests around Clonakilty where there was none before and there were wonderful days of planting by the people of West Cork. March is the key month for the project so please do get involved in one of the ways below. Let’s get planting, let’s do something special for 2020 and let’s put the Coillte back in Cloich na Coillte!

Follow our facebook page clonakiltytreeplanting and help spread the word.

We are looking for volunteers to help plant the trees in March and also tree experts to help design the planting areas. We are also looking for land to plant, so if you could fit some in your garden, business, club or housing estate, please contact us on

Keep an eye out for our gofundme page and please contribute.

If you would like to sponsor trees or plant trees yourself on your own land to be included in the project please let us know. The more a success we make of this project, the more likely that it will spread to other towns and create something truly important.

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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