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CELT gets green award


Written in Projects: 05/02/13, 11:21:07 by jonathan  | Print article  | View all categories.

CELT PRESS RELEASE 30TH APRIL 2013

CELT – Centre for Environmental Living & Training – the East-Clare-based national charity for environmental training, education and awareness – were finalists in the Green Community Award category of the national Green Awards presented recently at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin, being awarded a certificate for second place behind Cloughjordan Eco-Village.   This was a great achievement for a relatively small organisation who are very much reliant on limited funding and the support of volunteers and community involvement.

The group have enjoyed continued success with their activities regardless of the constraints of the recession – decreased funding, less spending money for public participation and increased costs.  CELT Native Tree nursery has done particularly well thanks to specialisation in native trees and shrubs of certified provenance – very important for biodiversity as well as for landowners taking advantage of grant schemes.  The nursery also provides a range of fruit and nut species appropriate for agroforestry or forest-garden planting.

CELT helped to establish the All-Ireland Agroforestry Initiative in 2011 which now has support from Teagasc, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (N.Ireland), Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association (IOFGA), Woodland League and Irish Natural Forestry Foundation (INFF).

Agroforestry is about integrating trees into the horticultural and agricultural landscape in a sustainable design that promotes food security, biodiversity, soil improvement and protection and climate mitigation (carbon sequestration).   The trees play an important role in the nutrient cycle, bringing nutrients (including vital trace elements) from the sub-soil to the top-soil via leaf litter.  Also different trees attract different insects at different times of year which is important for crop pollination and for predation on pests such as green-fly.

CELT have, with the help of funding from Department of Environment in 2010, established a small pilot agroforestry project using 4 sites near Feakle where different systems can be demonstrated to show planting in different site conditions and for different outcomes.  Some introductory courses in Forest Gardening were successfully held last year and are to be repeated this year, beginning 13th July at Kes Clarke’s small-holding, Caher Rice, Caher, Feakle, along with some new courses especially designed for farmers to be held in association with Irish Seedsavers in September.

The traditional and ecological skills training courses for which CELT are highly renowned continue to be popular and this year will culminate the last weekend in September with the Weekend in the Hills event to be held at Slieve Aughty Centre (Kylebrack, between Woodford and Loughrea) – an exciting new venue that has great facilities including accommodation from basic camping to eco-cabins to hotel-standard B&B.

CELT continued to be involved in the development of the Tuamgraney Community Woodland Wildlife Park and also put together a Local Biodiversity Plan for the village and its environs – one of the first such plans in the country.  Also last year, CELT installed a Biodiversity Trail at the Mooghaun Project near Newmarket-on-Fergus and are now seeking further such opportunities.

Other activities included traditional and ecological skills hands-on demonstrations and workshops at Mountshannon Green Fair and Scariff Harbour Festival.  There was also a display at the recent Clare Garden Festival.  For further information seewww.celtnet.org or email info@celtnet.org

ENDS
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