During School Forest Week children get to leave the classroom and explore a forest to learn about trees and wildlife.
By the end of Schools Forest Week 25,000 children will have visited the nation's forests. The aim is to build awareness among young people of the importance of forestry and wildlife to the environment.
Avoca Park and Avondale House in Wicklow the birthplace of Charles Stewart Parnell, is one of Ireland's 11 forest parks. A trip around the park for the children takes about two hours and they will be taught about what exactly is in the forest and more importantly where to find it.
For some of these children, aged between nine and 12, it’s their first introduction to forest life.
Frank Molloy of the Irish Forestry and Wildlife Service explains the need for children to be aware of forests and their wildlife. He believes that young children should be introduced to the names of trees and the parts of plants. By bringing them to a forest environment, children begin to learn a lot more about the natural world around them.
At under five per cent, Ireland has the lowest area of forest in western Europe and Frank Molloy wants there to be an increasing awareness of the value of trees.
Forester Liam Kavanagh takes the children on a walking tour.
Forestry Week is the work of the Department of Education and the Forestry and Wildlife Service but it’s the foresters who lead this wildlife expedition, a journey among the trees to meet the residence.
The school children describe what they found and saw along their nature walk.The Yellow Trail gives the children a chance to explore for themselves and has been specifically designed for School Forest Week,
With the odd pheasant’s nest and dead hedgehog conveniently placed on route.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 11 June 1986. The reporter is Maggie O’Kane.