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Careful With That Axe, Eugene

The groovy Deirdre from Ireland’s online activist group Uplift has been in touch about a new petition to save Wicklow’s trees.

With some trees no doubt needing to be removed, there’s a growing concern in this county – and beyond – that many healthy, historic trees are being cut down with little rhyme or reason.

Which is why Deirdre is calling on Wicklow County Council to cease and consider.

Here’s the lowdown…

We are facing a climate crisis and an extinction crisis. We need trees to take CO2 from the air and give us oxygen. We need trees as habitat for insects which are dying out even faster in Ireland than globally.
At the same time, since last November it’s reported that County Councils all over Ireland have been felling healthy trees at an alarming rate. This is grossly short sighted.

We demand that County Councils employ a qualified arborist to protect our trees and that no trees are cut in public spaces without prior public consultation.

Why is this important?
County councils around Ireland have been felling hundreds of healthy roadside trees with no consultation and no prior notice to local residents according to numerous reports and photos like the one above from Waterford. It is claimed that this is at the behest of insurance companies and for fear of insurance claims.* Though statistics show that your chances of being killed by a falling tree in a public space are 1 in 20,000,000.*

Dublin City Council’s Tree Strategy notes roadside trees as being vital for many reasons. “Trees clean the air, provide natural flood defences, mask noise and promote a general sense of wellbeing. Within the higher density areas of the city trees have considerable beneficial impacts on the lives of those who do not have immediate access to other more traditional types of open space. Trees, for example, can add colour, interest and beauty to our busy streets. Within the city, urban trees contribute significantly towards many environmental and social benefits, such as journey quality, biodiversity, temperature regulation and habitat.”

Extinction Threat 
Over the past few decades we have lost 75% of all insect life globally. Recent research shows that insects in Ireland are dying off even faster than the alarming global average, for some species it’s over three times as fast*. One in four of all species of wildlife in Ireland is also threatened with extinction. Without insects we will have ecosystem collapse and our ability to grow enough food to feed ourselves will be drastically affected.

Trees support a multitude of the insect species that are under threat in Ireland. Oak trees support over 423 species of insects and mites. Though it is unthinkable today, felling hundreds of healthy trees now is making it almost inevitable that crops will fail and we will experience food shortages in Ireland in the not so distant future.

You can sign the petition here, find out more on The Irish Times here, on NatureNet here, on The Irish Examiner here and Countryside Info here. You can also find out more on Save Ireland’s Trees’ Facebook page here.

1 Comment

  1. Alex says:

    Great post and thank you for sharing Deirdre’s petition. This petition is not specifically to Wicklow County Council – other Uplift members across the country have started similar petitions asking their County Councils to stop cutting down trees – would you be interested in starting a petition for Wicklow? Check out where it is free and easy to set up a petition. If you have any queries please give me a shout

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