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Over 30,000 acorns gathered in Killarney National Park

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Over 30,000 acorns were gathered by National Park and Wildlife Service outdoor staff from the ancient Derrycunnihy native oak woodlands and Muckross Gardens, Killarney National Park.

POTTING: James Doherty with his team painstakingly potted or sewed 31375 acorns to be exact mainly Sessile Oak which are native to Ireland. The mammoth task will ensure that our native woodlands will continue for generations and centuries to come. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

FROM TINY ACORNS: Over 30000 acorns were gathered by National Park and Wildlife Service Outdoor Staff from the ancient Derrycunnihy native Oak woodlands and Muckross Gardens Killarney National Park. The work carried out was supervised by Horticulturalist Gerry Murphy (right) and gardener Stephen Moore (1st left). Also pictured were: James Doherty (2nd left) David Fitzgerald Sjoerd Van Wierst Cathal Sexton Brendan Lynch and Luke O'Sullivan. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

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HELPING: Sjoerd Van Wierst Brendan Lynch and Luke O'Sullivan helping to pot the acorns Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

PAINSTAKING WORK: The NPWS outdoor staff in this photo include: James Doherty (left) David Fitzgerald and Sjoerd Van Wierst painstakingly potting some of the 31375 acorns. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

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The oak woodlands form the most extensive and oldest areas of native woodlands in Ireland and Northern Europe. It has the largest yew woodland, which occurs along the Muckross Peninsula.

The work carried out was supervised by horticulturalist Gerry Murphy and gardener Stephen Moore.

The outdoor staff painstakingly potted, or sewed, 31,375 acorns to be exact, mainly Sessile Oak, which is native to Ireland. The mammoth task will ensure that our native woodlands will continue for generations and centuries to come.

“What we have here is the forest of the future, germination will take place in early spring, and come summer time, the pots will be on benches outdoors for at least two more seasons before being planted out,” Stephen Moore, head gardener, said.

The precious acorns were all collected from registered collection areas of local provenance within Killarney National Park. Other plant species for future gathering will include, Yew, Birch, Holly and Alder.

The outdoor staff working in the National Park on site polytunnel included James Doherty, David Fitzgerald, Sjoerd van Wierst, Luke O’Sullivan, Brendan Lynch and Cathal Sexton. They also seeded English Oak, and Arbutus trees on Muckross Peninsula, one of the few places it grows in Europe. Horticulturist Gerry Murphy explained that they’re encouraging the planting of more native trees in Killarney National Park.

"Going back to the original owners of Muckross Estate, the Herberts of Muckross, they had their own extensive nursery for planting native trees," he said.

"Today the 300-year-old champion oak tree in the landscaped garden is still growing strong. Sometimes nature needs our help from time to time.”

Killarney National Park has over 610 hectares of the most important ancient native oak woodland in Ireland. Oak can live for over 500 years and one of the biggest oaks in Killarney National Park is the Royal Oak on the shores of Lough Leane. The yew woodland on the Muckross Peninsula is one of the three largest natural yew woods in Europe. The centrepiece iconic yew in Muckross Abbey is believed to be over 550-years-old.

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Rathmore students look to the future

Students in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore looked to the future as they explored third level opportunities. The teens took part in a number of activities to mark College Awareness […]

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Students in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore looked to the future as they explored third level opportunities.

The teens took part in a number of activities to mark College Awareness Week which was held in schools and other education settings nationwide last week.

The focus throughout the week in their school was to highlight the wide range of options open to them when they leave school and to realise that there are pathways to suit all types of learners.

Students from First to Sixth Year took part in activities to get them thinking about their future plans.

First and Second year students completed a module on ‘My Pathways’ and Third Years had an introductory talk on options after school.

Transition Year students worked on a display on all the options and pathways available after school which will remain up permanently.

Senior Cycle students attended the Careers Fair in Munster Technological University (MTU) where they got a chance to meet universities, colleges of Further Education, agricultural colleges, apprenticeship and more education and training providers from around the country including past sudent Aidan O’Mahony at the stand with An Garda Síochána.

Leaving Cert and LCA students had a really informative talk in school on Further Education and apprenticeships from Ella O’Donoghue, Admissions Officer of Kerry College.

The week finished with a talk for Senior Cycle students on Business and Law options in UCC by Ian Wallace.

“A highlight of the week was the involvement of past students, who sent us video clips on their career stories so far and shared tips with students,” Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor at the school, said.

“It was fabulous to see how well our former students have done and it was really important for our current students to see the diversity of pathways they have taken including apprenticeships, Further Education courses, university, travel, setting up businesses and returning to education as mature students. We are really grateful to the past students who reconnected with us for this week, their input was inspiring and invaluable.”

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Students have education and fun London trip

Leaving Certificate students from St Brigid’s returned home Saturday night after a hectic four-day tour to London. The 87 girls took a tour of London on their first day in the city […]

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Leaving Certificate students from St Brigid’s returned home Saturday night after a hectic four-day tour to London.

The 87 girls took a tour of London on their first day in the city after landing. They visited some of the famous locations on the journey, such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and Trafalgar Square. They enjoyed a night at the Lyceum Theatre in the West End watching ‘The Lion King’.

The girls went to The Natural History Museum on day two, which has one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artefacts. They took their time looking around the massive cathedral-like structure’s sculptures and frescoes. Four coloured zones that focus on topics including the environment, evolution, the planet, and wildlife make up the museum’s divisions. They then took pleasure in a trip to the fascinating Science Museum. It was the ideal location for someone with an inquisitive mind, full of amazing things to do and explore.

The Victoria and Albert Museum was the next stop on the itinerary. The V&A’s collection of art spans 5,000 years, from prehistoric periods to the modern era. The Mouse Trap, an Agatha Christie play, was the entertainment for this evening at the St Martin’s Lane Theatre. The play’s 70th anniversary was this week.

On day three, the girls boarded a capsule for a 30-minute spin of the London Eye and marvelled at the breath-taking sights of London. After that, they went to the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Planetarium and Astronomy Centre, where they experienced an amazing adventure through space. They went to the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, planting one foot on the eastern and the other on the western hemisphere of our planet.

The girls ended their evening at what was a highlight for many at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.

On the final day before flying home, the girls went to Oxford Street to do a spot of shopping.

“A great trip was had by all where many memories were made,” said Sheree Murphy, one of the teachers who travelled with them on the trip.

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