Farm Ireland

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Shelterbelts will protect gardens from impact of climate change

Down through the centuries the Acton's were passionate gardeners and travelled far and wide to see exotic plants in their natural habitats, particularly those from North America.

At a time when many of the Irish gentry took 'Grand Tours' of Europe to view architecture and alpine scenery, they spent their time looking at trees and shrubs in their native haunts.

By the 1860s, Thomas and Janet Acton had travelled the world, including trekking through the Yosemite Valley in California where they saw the giant redwoods and western yellow pine.

Moving on to the present, Seamus O'Brien said that the threat of climate change is being taken very seriously at Kilmacurragh.

We are forecast to have potentially damaging high winds in the future, so they are planting extensive shelterbelts there to protect the gardens.

Perhaps this is something that we should all take note of and plan accordingly with suitably placed copses and belts of trees to shelter our houses, yards and farmland. The Forest Service might well consider including this in their afforestation schemes.

Other new projects include the enhancement of the estate's large wildflower meadows and a collection of genetically improved oak for future woodlands.

Miles of native hedgerows will also be planted in the coming years and, when funds allow, the house and other old buildings will be restored.

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