By Carmel O’Neill, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Lacken, Co. Wicklow
In late February 2022, we planted 22m of Whitethorn hedging along the boundary wall of Lacken Church as part of our ongoing project to improve the biodiversity of the grounds.
Lacken Tidy Village group gave out saplings of Hazel, Alder, Whitethorn, Blackthorn and Spindle to every family in the parish on the weekend of February 19th/20th. The aim of this initiative was to encourage more planting of trees in their important role of reducing carbon emissions. The project was a great success and much appreciated.
We also planted a native Irish Cherry tree in the same area. The children from Lacken National School attended the ceremony on Mar 25th which was during National Tree Week. Prayers were taken from the Laudato Si’ Season of Creation website and Psalm 104 was chosen to thank God for the beauty of Creation. Father Richard blessed the tree and the children helped with filling in the soil and the watering.
The children form the First Communion class in Blessington No.1 National School have been reflecting on Creation and Care of the Earth. As part of this preparation, they have committed themselves to making a promise on one aspect of sustainable living. Their pledges are on display in the porch of the Church of our Lady Blessington
In August we harvested seeds of yellow rattle from a wildflower bank in Lacken village. This wildflower meadow was initiated four years ago and each year more species of native wildflower can be seen, e.g. Birds-foot trefoil and Yarrow. The harvested yellow rattle seed is now sown in the rear of Lacken church grounds to create a new meadow there.
Yellow rattle is known as the ‘meadow maker’. It is hemiparasitic, meaning it draws nutrients from the roots of the grasses around it. This suppresses the grasses and gives wildflowers a chance to grow.
The Tidy Village group planted pollinator-friendly bulbs (Crocuses, Grape hyacinth, and Allium) along the grass verges leading into Lacken village.
We planted a red hawthorn tree in the carpark of Blessington church grounds to mark the Season of Creation, and two Holly trees (a male and a female) in Blessington church car park. We hope these will produce an abundance of berries in Winter.
Planting a Hawthorn tree in the car park (Pic: Carmel O’Neill)
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