Recharge the Earth Issue 2…The King of Trees!

Finally, its here, Issue #2…! Back in November 2014, Malahide Sea Scouts (MSS) signed up to take part in Recharge the Earth Challenge. The beavers, cubs, scouts, ventures, and leaders all pulled together to promote and raise awareness of the importance of recycling used batteries. The challenge involved collecting 100kg of used batteries for recycling…Yes, 100kg!! For a full recap of our journey so far, see Issue 1.

Toward the end of January 2015 we had successfully completed the challenge. As a reward for taking part and for completing the challenge, The European Recycling Platform Ireland awarded MSS with a bundle of Sessile Oak trees, 5 trees in total, to plant and recharge the earth in our community.


Five oak trees potted and ready for planting

Oak trees 


Sessile Oak Tree

Ireland has two native oak species Pedunculate oak and Sessile Oak.

Sessile oak is the more common of the two species..

  • Oaks can grow to a height of 40 metres and take several hundred years to mature
  • They provide a rich habitat for more than 300 species of insect, food for birds and other predators.
  • The bark provides a habitat for mosses, lichens, and liverworts, and deadwood cavities for nesting birds and bats.
  • The bark is grey in colour and usually marked with narrow, shallow fissures.

Sessile Oak Leaves & Acorns

  • Oak leaves are about 12cm long and are oval in shape with up to nine rounded lobes on each side.
  • The fruit of the tree is, of course, the acorn! The acorns are eaten by a number of birds and mammals.


In Ireland, the oak tree is a symbol of strength and it is considered to be the king of trees!


Trees and PRIORITY #1 Climate Change!!


Moneypoint Coal-Fired Power Station, Co. Clare.

Once a land covered in dense forests, Ireland has a history of large-scale deforestation down through the centuries.

This was mainly due to early settlement with land required for agricultural use and grazing, and the export of wood to England.

In the battle against climate change, trees are still the best “technology” we have to capture and store the rapidly increasing levels of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere. The main CO2 emissions generated by Ireland are from agriculture, fossil fuel burning and cement manufacturing.

In the atmosphere CO2 absorbs and emits infrared radiation, contributing to planetary warming. One approach to tackle this is terrestrial sequestration which involves the simple planting of trees. A tree absorbs carbon during photosynthesis and stores it in the wood for the life of the tree.

Did you know that, today, only ~ 10% of Ireland is under forest cover? Looking to the future Ireland will have to ensure careful management of its forests to ensure optimum sequestration of carbon. Trees sequester the most carbon during their youth. Harvesting and thinning trees at the peak of their cycle to allow others to mature is vital. New saplings are planted to restart  the cycle. The massive trunk of an ancient oak represents tons of sequestered carbon. Heres hoping the five trees we have planted will lock in tons of CO2 throughout their lifetime.

Flooding - Via @IrishExaminer

Within only a few weeks of the conclusion of the Paris Climate Conference — COP 21, many of our lowland towns have experienced extensive flooding. The cause may lie partly with climate change, but one solution to the flooding is much nearer home: In our uplands, where the wrong species of tree and forestry model have been chosen for decades. What is needed on appropriate selected sites in the uplands are native, deep-rooted trees, planted with a view to flood alleviation, soil protection, carbon uptake, small farm viability, and biodiversity — rather than quick profit for the few, which those downstream end up paying for.

Native woodlands in uplands reduce the effects of flooding. This is proven by recent scientific research such as the Pontbren Project, by Bangor University in Wales. They examined the management of upland sites by a group of farmers. It established that soil under mixed native trees absorbs water 67 times faster than under grass: Native trees have such deep roots that they provide channels to send the water much further underground. The soil under native trees acts as a sponge — a reservoir — which sucks in water, then releases it slowly – Read More

Malahide Castle & Our Tree Planting

It may not be too well known, but MSS hold a great history with Malahide Castle and the Talbot family. Lord Milo Talbot in 1948 inherited Malahide Castle and granted permission to MSS to camp at the Mabestown corner of the Demesne right beside were the Blimps anchored during the 1st World War. In addition to the camping facilities, permission was granted to store our camping equipment in “The Loft” of the courtyard on the demesne. For over 25 years the scouts would have camped a 100 times or more three or four times a year at the Demesne. The goodwill of the Talbots continued when The Honourable Rose Talbot inherited the castle in 1973 and Rose saw through the gifting of the plot of land on St. James Terrace where our Scout Den currently stands today. This magnanimous gesture gave MSS a true home. In 1979 the group council adopted a coat arms of the Talbot Family allocated to Sir John Talbot a naval officer who fought alongside Nelson in the Battle of the Nile in 1798. Unfortunately, after the sale of the castle in 1976, to the then Dublin County Council our arrangement ceased.

In recognition of our history and friendship with Malahide Castle it was well and truly appropriate that we planted some of our trees here at the heart of Malahide. The May Bank Holiday weekend proved a great opportunity for us to plant our trees as we had scouts from all 8 sections at the Demesne fundraising for our biggest project to date, EVER, The Big Row Home.

The cubs/scouts planted three of our Sessile Oak trees at Malahide Castle. The cub sections will be planting the remaining two oaks at two of our National Campsites, Larch Hill and Lough Dan.


Eilis Kelly from Neala Scouts plants a tree


Stephen Wed Scouts & Eilis Neala


Tonnta Cubs Fig1.


Tonnta Cubs Fig2. Taking turns digging the holes!


Tonnta Cubs Fig3. #teamwork


Tonnta Cubs Fig4.


Andrew and Shane from Wed Scouts plant a tree


Shane & Stephen


Wed Scouts planting tree


Wed Scouts – Job Done!

Go Raibh Míle Maith Agaibh

A big thank you to Fingal County Council and Shannon Heritage who granted permission for our trees to be planted at Malahide Castle and for allowing us to fundraise for the Big Row Home inside the Visitor Centre at the Castle.

Keep an eye out for more of our Green Scout Den projects in 2015. We hope to continue in our attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of our Scout Group where possible.

Contact: Stephen Email: