Andrew Doyle T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, with responsibility for forestry, today launched a ‘Forest Connections’ project in Lyrecrumpane Community Forest, Co. Kerry, under which a number of events will be held in Co. Kerry over the next two years to promote, and increase awareness of, forests.
The ‘Forest Connections’ project, which will be delivered by Kerry Earth Education Project, aims to get people of all ages out into the forests to observe, enjoy and participate in forest life, enabling them to feel connected to local forests and forests throughout Ireland, enhancing their feelings of well-being and knowledge of the essential place of forests in our lives.
Speaking at the launch, Minister of State Doyle commented, “This is one of the forest promotion projects which was approved for funding earlier this year and I am delighted to be here today at its launch. ‘Forest Connections’ encompasses a range of projects aimed at various age groups to visit forests and to see firsthand, and enjoy, the forest environment with its many features. I note that events will include Forest Summer Camp, Junior Afterschool Forest Club, Mini Forest Camps and Family days out in the forest. While we read a lot about the benefits of forestry, which include employment, income generation, biodiversity and climate change sequestration, a visit to a forest is a learning experience in itself – to actually appreciate the sights within a forest – and I, therefore, welcome this initiative by the Kerry Earth Education Project”.
The launch, held in Lyrecrumpane Community Forest, serves also a ‘Wild Child Day’ event which encourages children to get out into nature during National Heritage Week. It includes exhibits at Lyrecrumpane Resource Centre, with displays of natural art and local craft demonstrations, as well as forest activities.