Some more information about our Jubilee Wood
You may have seen the work taking place on the edge of the Bentra Golf course, where a path is being built along the Larne Road edge of the course. This will be the path that leads to the Jubilee Wood and the contractors have promised it will be ready for Saturday 25th February.
This is Northern Ireland’s only Jubilee Wood and it will cover a substantial area of ground. Basically, its boundaries are the edge of the Bentra golf course (where the hedge runs up alongside the third hole), the A2 Larne Road, the railway line and the path just opposite the new agricultural supplies store - about half a dozen big fields in total.
Contractors have already started to get some of the new trees into the ground and children from quite a few local schools will have their own opportunities to plant some trees in the next fortnight but the mass planting takes place on Saturday 25th February.
The path through the golf course will be the only way to get to the planting area on the day of the big event. The Woodland Trust is expecting as many as a thousand people here to help plant 20,000 trees. Visitors will be directed to park at the harbour car-park or elsewhere in town and there will be a shuttle bus running every 30 minutes from the railway station, with stops at the Recreation Ground, the harbour car-park and a few other points in between. The bus will take passengers up to a registration tent at the Bentra car-park, from where you’ll need to walk the last 500 metres or so to the new woodland. There will be no parking on the Larne Road nor, I suspect, on the Slaughterford Road.
The event starts at 1030 and carries on for most of the day. Some of our local churches are working together to provide refreshments at the start and the organisers have promised a variety of snacks for hard-working tree-planters, as well as a free barbecue lunch for the first 200 people to register with them.
The vast majority of the saplings being planted will be our most characteristic native species - principally oak and ash trees, with some decorative species such as flowering cherries to add some colour. One special feature will be the planting of a ‘Commonwealth Avenue’ through the wood, where people from many Commonwealth countries will be joining us on the day to plant some commemorative trees.
There will be entertainment throughout the day, with roving musicians and story-tellers, face-painters, arts & crafts and archery available, among other pleasures. A travelling exhibition will bring The World of Owls to our doorstep.
If you’ve got your own spade, bring it. If you’ve got wellies or good, strong boots, wear them - it’s almost certainly going to be pretty muddy. Wrap up warm if it’s cold.