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The Biran Boru Oak, the 1000 year old oak tree,

Focusing on The Great Forest of Aughty

ANDREW St Ledger, a well-known native woodland specialist will be hosting two Heritage Week events in East Clare this week on behalf of The Woodland League and CELT ( Centre for Environmental Living and Training ).
On Saturday, Andrew will be in Peppers Bar and Restaurant in Feakle from 2pm to give an overview, and a presentation on The Great Forest of Aughty, an active Native Oakwood Restoration project in East Clare and South Galway.
“I have been conducting walks and talks in the Raheen ancient oakwood for many years and have subsequently become acquainted with the owner of the estate of 400 acres, William McLysaght. This is the place where the famous 1,000 year old Brian Boru oak tree is situated. William donated a four acre site of the estate to the local community and I was involved in persuading them to convert this into a community native woodland restoration project, with two NGO’s I work with, The Woodland League and CELT,” Andrew outlined.
This project won second prize in an All Ireland, Pride of Place, Eco Community Project competition in 2014.
Mr McLysaght was very impressed with what they did with the four acre donated site he asked Andrew how he could best preserve the 40 acres of Raheen ancient oakwood.
“I suggested to him he must create a Sustainable Forest Management plan. He then commissioned this plan and included another approximately 200 acres of mixed commercial Sitka spruce and regenerating native woodlands. This amazing project is now under way with the first stages implemented last year and continuing as we speak. Most of the non native Sitka spruce has been removed, native trees have been replanted into the gaps, and other areas have been thinned and made ready for the more planting before spring,” he said.
The Woodland League now has a plan to restore the remnant shreds of what was once known as The Great Forest of Aughty, stretching from Killaloe to Portumna, across to Gort and down to Tulla, Raheen ancient oakwood is one of these remnant shreds and forms the jewel in the crown of this long term ecological restoration project.
On Sunday, Andrew will lead a guided walk and talk in Cahermurphy ancient oakwood, an intact remnant of the Great Forest of Aughty. He asks those interested in participating to meet at Peppers at 10am and from there they will car pool to the woodland.
Those interested in going on the walk are advised to wear suitable walking shoes/boots and to bring rain gear. All are welcome to attend and dogs must be on leads.

About Carol Byrne

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Carol Byrne is a reporter at The Clare Champion newspaper reporting on news in the East Clare area and the arts. She also covers the courts in County Clare and has received six national awards for this coverage from the Law Society of Ireland. A Masters in Journalism graduate of NUI Galway, she also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Limerick in Music and Media Studies. She began her career interning at The Limerick Leader and Clare FM, before taking up a full time post at The Clare Champion in 2006.

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