My new track and video 'If They Fall'. A lament for the lost forests of Ireland.
Ireland once had forest cover of around 80%. Today its forest coverage is one of the lowest in europe at only around 11%. Less than 1% of ireland's tree cover is native ancient woodland. The rest is man-made monoculture tree plantations, planted only for timber.
Watch the music video on YouTube ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jfarCzjj6s
Buy track on bandcamp for an 11 Page pdf booklet included in download exploring the ideas and inspirations behind the track and video.
Monoculture tree plantations are not forests.
A real forest is made up of thousands of different species that co-evolved over very long periods of time to function cohesively as an ecosystem.
1 Oak tree can support a staggering 2,300 species not including all of the fungi or any of the bacteria and other micro-organisms.
Woodland clearance in Ireland began as far back as the neolithic period, around 6,000 years ago by setllers for farming.
It is thought the worst period of forest clearing came in the 17th & 18th century by the British colonialists & armies who used Irish timber to build their ships and as fuel for the iron smelting industry.
The forests were also seen by the colonialists as dangerous refuges for native resistance and a hostile wilderness to be tamed and converted into land for farming.
Numerous native wild fauna, such as wolves, boar, red squirrel (since reintroduced) and numerous bird species, were hunted to extinction or died out as a result of the disappearance of their woodland habitats.
With no natural predator the deer population has exploded and they have to be regularly culled as they eat the bark on mature trees, letting infection in and killing them.
Overgrazing prevents new trees from growing. Vast numbers of sheep who are allowed to roam over so much of the land, will eat new saplings before grass, preventing the recovery of woodlands. Wild goats, dubbed in some places as 'desert makers' are also incredibly damaging to native trees and plants.
Invasive species such as Rhodedendron and Cherry Laurel, grow faster than native species, preventing sunlight getting to the forest floor, choking the native trees and denying them the chance to grow. It is expensive and time consuming to combat these invasive species.
‘We were Gaels. We still are. At one time we all spoke Gaeilge, language of the Gaels. And Gael means “forest people” or “wild men”. We come from the bush, from these wet, dank thickets of woodlands that once covered three-quarters of the island’
Support the Native Woodland Trust & Woodland Trust (for NI) and help them preserve Ireland’s remaining ancient woodlands.
Other Individuals and organisations to follow to learn more:
Hometree ~ www.hometree.ie
Gaelic Woodland Project ~ gaelicwoodlandproject.com/
Eoghan Daltun/Irish Rainforest ~ twitter.com/IrishRainforest
Born in you
Bathed in you
Hope on wing
In sunlight sway
Just in the way
Split in two
Yet we stall
Saved by you
Seed & Soul
Vein of leaf
As of hand
If they fall
Don't we all?
Ádhamh Máirtín ~ Music, Lyrics & Production