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February 16, 2011

Native Woodland Trust Announce New Site At Russborough

Russborough, Blessington County Wicklow to have a new native woodland.

Native Woodland Trust The Native Woodland Trust is delighted to announce the purchase of a new nature reserve (16.5 acres) south of Blessington on the County Wicklow/County Kildare border. Within sight of Russborough House and bordering the N81, this site has fantastic views of the Blessington lakes and the Wicklow mountains and is in an area of outstanding beauty only a short distance from Blessington Town, Naas and the outskirts of Dublin.
We hope this new woodland will serve as a great local amenity to the people of the surrounding areas and we would hope to have as many people involved in the woodland as possible.  We will be opening up a local branch to look after the woodland and it will be open to the public, schools, youth groups etc. for walks and other activities.  Over the next two years the Trust will start planting native trees at the site including Oak, Ash, Birch, Alder, Blackthorn, Guelder Rose, Hawthorn, Hazel, Holly, Rowan, Spindle and Willow.
Linda Lawlor, General Manager with the Native Woodland Trust, explained: "The site at Russborough, Blessington is a very exciting purchase for the trust given its beautiful location and its proximity to thriving local towns and only a stones throw from Dublin.  It is in an area frequented by tourists, hill walkers, adventure sports enthusiasts etc. so we would hope to generate a lot of interest in the planting of the trees and the maintaining of our new woodland.  This is a valuable asset for the local people to have a native woodland on their doorstep and we would like as many as possible to get involved.  This woodland will be open to the public and when completed will have kissing gates, wooden benches and pathways which will lead visitors around the woodland."

Already an Area of Scientific Interest (ASI) and a proposed Natural Heritage Area (pNHA), the site abounds with rare insects, especially butterflies, with plants such as Bugle, Water Avens, Wild Strawberries and Forget-me-nots   This new reserve will also provide a valuable habitat for numerous species of  birds and other animals.
As well as being a haven for wildlife, native trees and woods offer numerous benefits to people, providing places for quiet recreation and promoting a sense of well-being.  Although their vital role has never been more evident, Ireland remains one of the least wooded countries in Europe, with under 1 per cent native woodland cover compared to the European average of 44 per cent.

For further information visit or telephone Linda Lawlor at The Native Woodland Trust on 086-8169924.