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Kerry CoCo please STOP the destruction of our trees

Its National Tree Week from 5th to 12th March 2017. - let’s act is if it matters and stop the destruction of our trees.

7th March 2017

For Immediate Release.

From: Just Forests, Muckross, Killarney

Date: 7 March 2017

Contact: Tom Roche - 086 8049389

 

Just Forests is calling on Kerry Co Council to stop the ongoing destruction of trees and hedgerows across the county in an attempt to protect critical biological diversity, protect soils, prevent flooding and clean the air we breath. The recent onslaught on a significant number of trees in a housing estate in Tralee by contractors hired by Kerry Co Council is nothing short of eco-vandalism.

Local Authorities construct, operate and maintain economic, social and environmental infrastructure, oversee planning processes and establish environmental policies and regulations. They also assist in implementing national and regional environmental policies. They are very close to the people and play a vital role in educating and mobilising the public and responding to community concerns.

Therefore, Local Authorities – large or small – are important players for putting sustainable development into practice. They are important consumers with public procurement policies as a powerful tool for promoting the use of environmentally and socially responsible products and services.

Local Authorities behaviour is likely to have an important influence on people and they should take every opportunity to set a good example to the public.

Just Forests along with a number of members of the public are very concerned at the methods of ‘pruning’ applied by the contractors to the trees in question. “It is akin to someone going to their local beautician for a manicure and coming out with all their nails removed right down to the cuticles with blunt instruments and the resulting open wounds left unattended – you can imagine the rest yourself,” according to Just Forests coordinator Tom Roche

On Wednesday 1st March 2017, Denis Naughten TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, launched, Cleaning Our Air – Public Consultation to inform the development of a National Clean Air Strategy. According to Minister Naughten’s media notice, air pollution is responsible for an estimated 4 deaths each day – that’s 1460 deaths associated with air pollution in this country annually. The main health effects of air pollution include stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma. These conditions can lead to sickness and ill health as well as premature mortality.

Trees can reduce air pollution. It is proven that trees reduce violence and sooth and calm traffic. Scientifically proven studies show that trees contribute very positively to our physical as well as our mental health. Patients with views of trees from their home/hospital windows heal faster and with less complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they engage with nature. Exposure to trees and nature aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue.

In housing estates like the one in question in Tralee, the beauty of well-cared for trees and the associated wildlife habitats they provide for birds and pollinators can raise the value of properties by as much as 15%. As your readers may also be aware the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, has proposed changes to the Wildlife Act that will allow for the cutting of hedgerows in March and August. This will have serious impact on a range of wildlife species and habitats in Ireland – especially highly threatened nesting birds and pollinators found in our hedgerows and uplands.

ENDS 

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Irish Woodworkers for Africa Ltd. T/A Just Forests
Dromickbane, Muckross, Killarney, Kerry, Ireland
Phone: +353 (0)86 8049389  |  E-mail: info@justforests.org
Company Registration Number: 279353  Irish Charity No: CHY 10686 Copyright © 2017 Irish Woodworkers for Africa Ltd. T/A Just Forests