Over 5,500 native trees to be planted at Drumcliffe Water Treatment Plant

06 December 2022

Many hands make light work was the theme of the day as 4th class students from Ennis National School gave Uisce Éireann a dig out with planting native trees at Drumcliffe Water Treatment Plant.

Members of Uisce Éireann’s South West Region Biodiversity Forum, staff from Green Belt Forestry, EPS, and Clare County Council, greeted the students on a bright and breezy morning at the treatment plant last week to plant 50 trees in time for Christmas. 

The pupils arrived on site ready to learn more about how the River Fergus provides Ennis town with all of its drinking water, and about the Alder, Oak, Birch and Hazel trees that would soon be thriving in the area. 

The Drumcliffe Water Treatment Plant is soon to have some 5,520 trees planted over the coming weeks where it will eventually become a wild and wonderful habitat for Jay Birds and Red Squirrels.   

Speaking at the event, Chair of Uisce Éireann’s South West Region Biodiversity Forum, Anna Brosnan, said:

There are smiles all round today. We have all had such a lovely time with 4th class students of Ennis National School. As part of today’s tree planting event, we have also erected a plaque at the gates of the treatment plant marking the occasion. It is a wonderful thought that in 20 or 30 year’s time, these children might be walking the lovely hills and lakes in Drumcliffe and look up to see the trees they planted when they were young." 

Trees are the lungs of our planet and without them, we wouldn’t survive. Uisce Éireann treats around 1.7 billion litres of clean drinking water across the country and returns around 1.6 billion litres of treated wastewater safely to the environment every day. This means our sites cross a range of natural habitats."

Anna added: “By planting these 5,520 trees and putting a stop to the regular mowing of the grass at the treatment plant, Drumcliffe Water Treatment Plant will soon become home to even more different types of wildlife and insects."

Uisce Éireann recognises the urgent need to increase our efforts to halt the decline of biodiversity. We are committed to building infrastructure that protects and, where possible, enhances our ecosystems. By reducing the number of times we cut our grass on-site, and in our gardens at home, we are giving plants more time to flower, and in turn more chances for pollinators to survive. We can all play our part in protecting and enhancing biodiversity.”

The children’s teacher, Aoife Kelly, was delighted to see her pupils getting some ‘hands on’ experience when it comes to biodiversity saying:

Being a Green School is something we take pride in, and our pupils are very passionate about it. A thriving natural environment helps provide us with food, quality drinking water and clean air. Our 4th class pupils are so enthusiastic about nature, so the tree planting was a great hands-on experience for them. The children really try to promote protecting nature and they would encourage every person to play their part. People may think their garden is too small to have an impact, or their garden will look messy if they let the grass grow long, but by just being more conscious of wildlife and changing our habits, it will have a massive impact.”

Find out more about Uisce Éireann’s Biodiversity Action Plan.