FORMER Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will don his wellies and do his bit for a charity challenge to plant 500 trees in one day in Malahide this weekend.
The ex-Fianna Fail leader has promised to muck-in and get his hands dirty along with other
volunteers at Malahide allotments on Saturday morning.
The endeavour, a fundraiser for the Epilepsy Care Foundation, is part of a nationwide initiative by the Forestry Foundation and the Woodlands Trust to plant one million trees in one day.
Allotments trustee Brian Geraghty told The Gazette: “Bertie said he’d be down with the family on the day.
“He’s here every week at his allotment so he said he’d lend a hand. Anyone is welcome to come along on the day, the more the merrier.
“My only advice is to bring a pair of wellies.”
Malahide Allotments has 320 plots, the largest number in the country, and 75 of these are reserved for those with epilepsy or autism.
The Forestry Foundation will provide the saplings – a mix of oak, cedar, redcurrant, blackcurrant and other species – free of charge.
Brian said: “What we are allowing people to do is if they want to dedicate a tree to a relative or a friend who has passed away they can do that. People can make a donation towards the plaque if they wish.
“Judging by the reaction we’ve had so far we reckon we’ll have 60 to 80 people here on the day. The weather is supposed to be dry but we’re keeping a close eye on the forecast.”
Planting will start at 11am and organisers hope to complete the task by 3pm. Brian says it’s the biggest single planting ever undertaken in Fingal.
He added: “The trees will enhance the wildlife in the area. They will be planted around the perimeter of the allotments and we will include a small woodland garden at the top of the field. Come along, bring friends and family and join in the fun.”
For more information, visit the Malahide
Allotments Facebook page.