Woodlands, hedgerows and trees
The Galway Buzz
It’s hard to imagine today but Ireland was once completely covered with woodland- a rich mix of oak, elm, ash, Scots pine, hazel, birch, yew, rowan, holly, alder and willow. Woodlands tend to be hotspots for biodiversity because trees live for a long time allowing other plants and animals to colonise them (mosses, liverworts, beetles and other bugs) and woodlands provide a range of habitats- up in the canopy, on the tree trunks and down on the forest floor- for other plants and creatures to live and to forage.
Woodlands are wonderful places to walk in and explore. Constantly changing through the seasons, woodlands provide an opportunity to escape and soak up the natural world helping us to relax and unwind. For more information on trees and woodlands in Galway see-
Trees take up carbon throughout their lifetime and convert it to wood, thus helping to mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration. They also greatly enhance our landscapes and gardens providing colour, texture and interest, as well as enhancing biodiversity.
Hedgerows have a huge value for wildlife on the Irish landscape, which has such a low woodland cover, because they are like mini-woodlands criss-crossing the countryside and they provide a source of food, cover and shelter. Numerous countryside birds utilise hedgerows for nesting and foraging. Many of our native mammals also use hedges for moving through the landscape and for foraging.
One of the easiest things you can do to enhance your garden and make it more attractive to wildlife is to plant a native tree, shrub or hedgerow. There are lots of attractive native trees and shrubs that will look great in your garden or green space. The key thing is to plant the right tree in the right place!