Queen’s University Belfast: Small acorns grow strong partnerships

The Lord Mayor of Belfast has been lending a helping hand to Queen’s University Belfast students and the San Souci Residents Association as they planted trees at the Elms Village.

Staff and students from Queen’s have been working in partnership with the residents of San Souci and the Conservation Volunteers on an innovative sustainability project called Lennoxvale Tree Nursery.

They have been using acorns collected from Belvoir Forest just over two years ago. Cared for by local residents and the volunteers at a tree nursery on the Malone Road, the saplings are now ready for replanting at the University’s Elms Village Accommodation.

The University is a partner of Belfast City Council’s One Million Trees initiative. Through this project, Queen’s will help with the project’s overall aim of planting one million native trees across Belfast by 2035.

Trees grown on the University site will be donated for urban planting to provide a range of positive impacts on the city environment, including absorbing carbon, increasing biodiversity, and filtering out harmful air pollution. Access to green spaces has also been linked to improvements in wellbeing and good mental health.

Welcoming the initiative, Belfast Lord Mayor Kate Nicholl said: “It is important that we continue to look at ways to ensure that Belfast can grow into a sustainable city by reducing carbon output and filtering out pollution.

“I’m really impressed with the work Queen’s University, the Conservation Volunteers and residents are doing to ensure that we can make this happen on their own doorstep. This is a simple but impressive initiative which has an impact, not only on the current health of the city, but its future.”

Sara Lynch, Head of Sustainability at Queen’s University, said: “We very much welcome the commitment, hard work and close partnership working from local residents and our students and staff which has allowed this project to thrive. They have enhanced this green urban space to help create a healthier and more sustainable society.

“Queen’s is committed to continuing to work in partnership with our community to build relations, tackle climate change and contribute to projects like this which are designed to benefit the whole of the city.”

Co-founder of the Tree Nursery Eileen Sung said: “It has been fantastic to be involved in this project and to work in partnership with staff, students and volunteers. We are delighted to have been able to grow and care for the saplings and to now plant them at Elms Village. The project has been very enjoyable to but the real bonus is that we have now created a green oasis to help maintain the green corridor, improve air quality and soften what is a busy street for pedestrians and local residents.”

The Lennoxvale Tree Nursery is just one of a number of ‘Nurture and Grow’ initiatives taking place across the University which bring together staff, students and members of the local community. These projects aim to increase local biodiversity and support nature in an urban setting.

Comments are closed.