Benefits of a programme of afforestation

 

Sir, – The Society of Irish Foresters has added its voice to warnings from the Woodland League on the loss of trees from our parkland, roadsides and hedgerows (Pacelli Breathnach, Letters, March 24th).

Wherever a tree is planted it graciously provides oxygen, flood soakage and shade to the population, while also offering shelter and a habitat to the natural world.

It is to be hoped that our local authorities will fell trees only after an inspection by a qualified arborologist has recommended this course, and then on grounds of safety alone.

It has been pointed out in this newspaper that only one-fifth of one per cent of our tree cover consists of ancient oak, and we cannot afford to lose any more of this species.

At a time when so many people are unemployed it seems incredible that the Government has not seized upon the economic advantages of a massive programme of afforestation. We have 11 per cent tree cover in Ireland.

If we actually wanted to provide jobs and the real wealth of natural resources, greater numbers of different varieties of trees would be planted. On maturity and when ready for harvesting these could produce a paper industry, construction materials and renewable fuel. Yours, etc,

CAITRIONA LAWLOR,

Redesdale Road,

Mount Merrion,

Co Dublin