Please note the Coill na nÓg project is now closed but will reopen in autumn 2024.
What is it?
Coill na nÓg is a native tree and hedgerow planting initiative delivered by Biodiversity in Schools and funded by a selection of county councils across the island of Ireland.
Each October FREE tree packs are delivered to schools to create mini-woodlands and native hedgerows in support of the EU 3 billion trees initiative. Tree packs consist of 8 native trees (bare-root whips) to create a mini-woodland. Hedgerow packs consist of 25 native trees to set 7m of single-row hedge. Schools will also be given access to supporting resources including videos and worksheets to help them plant and get to know their trees.
In this first year, we are aiming to plant 1,000 trees. 'Coill na nÓg' is Irish for 'Wood of the Youth' and each year this children's forest will continue to grow and expand across Ireland.
Why is it important?
Ireland has one of the lowest levels of native tree cover in Europe, at only 2%. This is extremely low, especially considering our rich tree heritage.
Therefore, it is important the next generation grow to appreciate the importance of our trees from a biodiversity, climate and heritage perspective by nurturing them on their school grounds.
Similarly, hedgerows are also under threat. Although we have an impressive 689,000km across Ireland (enough to stretch around the planet 17 times!) we are losing up to 6,000km every year. This is disappointing as they are a last remaining refuge for wildlife.
How to get involved
As with all our campaigns they cover the whole island of Ireland, north and south, and are fully inclusive across the entire education system including pre-school, primary, secondary and homeschool.
Many schools will be assigned a kit via their local authority however we also have kits available to raffle across Ireland.
We want to see more native hedgerows, mini-woodlands and Irish trees in schools across Ireland so please get involved in rewilding your school and your students!
Tree & Hedgerow Kits
The competition is open to preschools, primary schools, secondary schools and homeschools across both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. If successful you will be informed by email and given access to our online resources with packs delivered throughout October. Tree packs consist of 8 native trees (mix of oak, rowan, birch, alder, hazel). Hedgerow packs consists of 25 native trees & shrubs (mix of hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, elder, guelder rose, crab apple, spindle). Trees are bareroot whips at least 40-60cm in height, grown in Ireland.
Competition is now CLOSED as of 1pm 22nd September 2023.
We will be contacting successful schools by email during October.
Even if you don't win one of our resource packs you can still take part in our social media competition. All you need to do is take a picture of your class exploring a local woodland or hedgerow or indeed planting trees at your school. Share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #CoillNaNog and tag us. Winner chosen on Friday 15th December 2023. One lucky school will be in with the chance of winning a pack of our outdoor wildlife signs worth €375.
Competition is now CLOSED as of 15th December 2023. Thank you all for your lovely entries. The randomly selected winner was Roundwood Community Preschool, Wicklow.
More about Trees & Hedgerows...
3 Billion trees
Under the European Green Deal, the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 commits to planting at least 3 billion additional trees in the EU by 2030 in full respect of ecological principles. You can find out more about the project, as well as registering your own tree planting here.
Other ways to help
We have an extensive range of resources on our website to help trees and hedgerows at your school.
We also developed a teacher toolkit about hedgerows with the Biodiversity Office of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.
In support of: