Loreto College Micro Forests

Date: Spring 2021

Location: Loreto Crumlin school grounds; Loreto college and Loreto junior school.

Project: Creation of two micro forests on the schools’ grounds to be used as outdoor classrooms in the future.

This Spring  Bloomin’ Crumlin volunteers took part in the creation of two micro forests in the Loreto schools’ grounds. The trees planted were a mix of native species containing oak, birch, hazel, scots pine, alder, rowan, and hawthorn. The trees were donated by two charities: Trees of the land and Crann.

Using permaculture methods, the trees were surrounded by a thick layer of mulch that will keep the soil moist and stop weeds and grass growing around them while they are still small. Local business provided the large bicycles cardboard boxes (Wolf cycles), hessian sacks and coffee chaff (Cloudpicker) that were used for the ground cover.

The forest in Loreto college is part of a bigger biodiversity scheme developed by the college; Bloomin’ Crumlin worked in close collaboration with the college and teachers, students and Loreto sisters to create the forest as part of their larger project, An Cluainín.

The aims of An Cluainín (The Little Meadow) Project are:

  • To develop a meadow for native Irish flora and fauna which includes a micro forest and water features on the grounds of Loreto College, Crumlin Road. In doing so we hope to encourage and increase the biodiversity within our school grounds and local vicinity while also having a small, but significant impact on carbon capture.
  • To provide numerous, meaningful learning opportunities for students as a result of direct involvement in planning and undertaking actions and for the wider school community in time to come. The project is being planned and overseen by a group of Transition Year students as part of their Leadership Project with Trinity College Access Programme.
  • Forge closer relationships with other stakeholders in our school and wider community. The project is being undertaken in partnership with Bloomin Crumlin / Crumlin Clean-up.