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Wallace Launches National Tree Week 2008

Ms. Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with responsibility for forestry, today launched National Tree Week in Turvey Park, Donabate, Co. Dublin. This year's National Tree Week, sponsored by Coillte and 02, will be held from 2nd to 8th of March 2008.

Minister of State Wallace congratulated the Tree Council of Ireland on the organisation of so many varied and interesting activities for the coming week. She also encouraged local communities and local authorities to participate in some of the 300 or more events, which will take place around the country during this week. Events include forest walks tree planting ceremonies, workshops, talks and competitions.

Noting the theme of this year's National Tree Week is "Cuireann crainn uisce ar fáil don bheatha"/"Trees Water Life", Minister of State Wallace commented, "Trees, the timber they provide and their numerous other benefits are an integral part of life. The significance of trees is often taken for granted. There is ongoing coverage of the consequences of deforestation throughout the world - we need to ensure that forestry remains a feature of the Irish landscape, economy and environment". The Minister of State drew attention to the afforestation schemes available from her Department, stating, "New planting is vital to the sector so that forestry can continue to provide an income stream for Irish farmers and a steady supply of material for the timber and energy sectors" and added "The importance of trees does, of course, go far beyond its provision of timber - the environment, clean air, jobs, wood energy and health and recreation are additional benefits. National Tree Week this year will, I hope, reinforce in our minds that trees are also about water and about life."

Date Released: 02 March 2008