Mercy College students learn the importance of forests

galway daily news mercy college with coillte

Mercy College in Woodford joined together with Coillte to take part in the Business Action on Education initiative, coordinated by Business in the Community (BITCI).

Coillte introduced the school’s second-year students to the diverse roles within the semi-state forestry company and the forestry sector.

During a recent site visit, pupils saw the tree harvesting process first-hand at Toorleitra Farrans Forest and learned about sustainable forest management, including harvesting and replanting.

This was followed by a visit to Portumna Forest Park, where Coillte staff gave the students an insight into the various roles across Coillte.

Throughout their time at both sites, the students learned about the multiple benefits of forests for climate, nature, wood, people and their local community.

To mark the partnership the students have planted ten oak trees in an area of Portunma Forest Park, planting a seed that forestry might be a good future career choice for them in their community.

Angela Ryan, Teacher at Mercy College, said they saw this to be a new and exciting innovation for our students to complement their education.

“The programme provided them with an opportunity to learn transferable skills.

“It also promoted the idea of sustainability on a practical level. Overall, it created a great sense of community, which we feel strongly about in our school. We look forward to our next chapter in our relationship with Coillte.”

Commenting on her experience of the programme, second year student at Mercy College, Lea Hackett said: “I loved doing the Coillte programme. I really enjoyed spending time outside.

“Nowadays, we tend to spend a lot of our time inside, working with technology and books but we seldom get the opportunity to really appreciate the natural world around us. The Coillte team were very nice.

“I enjoyed doing the workshops because while being educational, they were also fun and interesting. The programme opened my eyes about the various roles involved in an organisation like Coillte. Overall, I really enjoyed the whole experience and I’m glad that Coillte has chosen to get schools involved like this.”