Planting Holly trees

Happy Holly Day

Dec. 22, 2020

Happy Holly-day

This year has been a challenging year all round, but Rena Blake and Lisa Fingleton are determined to stay positive and keep taking actions for the future generations to come. Their farm in Ballybunion, The Barna Way, is an eco, social farm with lots of diverse community and creative projects.

“Today we are planting 500 holly trees on the Winter Solstice here in Barna. The holly tree is a particularly significant native tree. Druids believed the Holly tree to possess protective qualities. For centuries this magical tree has been represented by a Holly wreath which was worn as a crown by Celtic chieftains for good luck” says Rena.

Last June Rena and Lisa planted 9500 trees on their land. This initiative is managed by Greenbelt through the Native Woodland Scheme. “We are delighted that Cahills Supervalu have come on board through the Woodland Environmental Fund as we feel this is an important investment in North Kerry” says Rena.

According to Cormac Cahill, the owner and manager of Supervalu, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to get involved in this great project in Ballybunion. Over the last year we have been greening our business as much as possible with solar panels on our roof and our fully electric delivery van. We see this as the cherry on the cake and we are excited to be part of it”.

The woodland includes oak, holly, birch, rowan, hawthorn and Scots Pine. According to Rena “Generations of my family have lived on this land. I feel we are caretakers or stewards of the fields, taking care of it while we are here. One hundred years ago my family planted some trees here which provide great protection for us. We want to leave a woodland for the generations to come”.

Lisa says “We are concerned about climate change and want to play our part in protecting habitats and biodiversity now and into the future. We are so lucky to have land and we feel that planting native trees is the best gift we can give to the planet”.

According to Ger Moroney the Regional Manager at Green Belt “I see it as a collaboration between a local business, Cahill's Supervalu in this case and local landowners (Rena and Lisa) to pay forward environmentally by planting a Native Woodland. Green Belt was involved from the beginning and managed all the forestry aspects of the project.

“I am extremely proud of this particular initiative that started as an ideal with potential- The Woodland Environmental Fund. I think that it's a win win for business, landowners and our environment. Big companies and small have gotten on board with land owners like Rena and Lisa, who recognise that we need to give back, that trees are required to help reverse climate change. The world needs fixing and this scheme helps to encourage landowners to do this. I am most proud that my eldest son Eddie along with Martin and Alex, long term colleagues are involved in the planting and maintenance of Rena and Lisa's trees”.

For more info about Native Woodland scheme contact: Gerard Moroney, Green Belt Ltd P: +353(0)868380915 E: