Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis has today (Thursday) announced the supplier for the Centenary ‘Trees for Schools’ initiative led by the Northern Ireland Office, which will see over 1,100 schools in Northern Ireland offered a native tree for planting to mark the Centenary year.
The local Northern Ireland supplier will be Portadown company Craigmore Trees, who will offer schools a range of native trees to choose from including alder, birch, crab apple, ornamental cherry, rowan and oak.
Each tree will be accompanied by a special plaque, and will grow and mature in the years to come, acting as a reminder for future generations of this significant year for the people of Northern Ireland and the whole UK.
The awarding of the contract comes not only in Northern Ireland’s Centenary year but also in the year in which the UK Government will host COP 26 in Glasgow. This November, COP 26 will see the UK host the UN climate change conference, where world leaders will meet with the aim to agree how to tackle the urgent threat of global climate change.
Welcoming today’s announcement, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis said: “Our Trees for Schools initiative fulfils our promise of building back greener across the United Kingdom and, in addition to marking the Centenary, leaves a positive environmental legacy for the people of Northern Ireland.
“This great opportunity is open to every school in Northern Ireland, and over one thousand trees will be offered to mark this significant year for Northern Ireland and the whole of the UK.
“I would like to thank Craigmore Trees for delivering this important project for the benefit of Northern Ireland’s schoolchildren and generations to come.”
Owner of Craigmore Trees Mark Wilson, whose Co Armagh tree nursery has been in business for over 20 years, said: “I am proud that Craigmore Trees has been chosen to supply Centenary trees for Northern Ireland schools.
“Initiatives like this help to teach children how to care for plants and the environment, benefitting the planet and sowing positive seeds for the future.”
Principal of Bangor Central Integrated Primary School Peter Campbell said: “I think that the NIO’s Trees for Schools initiative is a fantastic way to mark the Centenary year and a practical way to teach our children how to look after the environment.
“Our school will be requesting a Centenary tree as soon as possible, and I look forward to planting it with our pupils later this year.”
The Centenary trees will be delivered to all schools who choose to apply. Delivery will take place between October and December.
A brochure is being sent out to schools, with those who wish to take part asked to email their contact details and choice of tree to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, October 1.