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Iarnród Éireann leads the way with Veon in the Creation of Woodland on Public Lands Scheme

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, with responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett, recently visited a 10-and-half-acre  Iarnród Éireann site, where  12,000 native trees will be planted  adjacent to the railway line at Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Roscommon under the Creation of Woodland on Public Lands Scheme with Woodland and Ecology specialists, Veon.

Commenting on both the site and the wider scheme, which was devised and is funded by the Department of Agriculture, and launched in August 2020, the Minister said:

“I want to congratulate Iarnrod Eireann for being at the forefront of this fantastic scheme.  By being the first state organisation to successfully engage with it, they are demonstrating true climate leadership and the commitment of their management and staff show they take their corporate social responsibility seriously.  They are an inspiration for other public bodies to follow their lead and become part of the climate solution.   I also want to acknowledge the role of Veon too, in the creation of this new biodiverse native woodland”.

Iarnród Éireann engaged Veon to firstly analyse their available land banks and select suitable sites for the scheme. The site at Carrick-on-Shannon was identified as suitable and Veon then helped Iarnród Éireann obtain the afforestation licence and devise the planting programme for the Co. Roscommon site.

Commenting on the announcement: Emer Bambrick, Environmental Executive with Iarnród Éireann stated:

“As the first public body to have applied and been approved for the scheme we are demonstrating our ongoing commitment to operating in an environmentally sound manner and helping to proactively mitigate our impact on the environment. This scheme promotes the creation of new biodiverse woodlands on publicly owned lands and is in keeping with Iarnród Éireann’s strategy of being part of the climate solution. The company is achieving this through the expansion of rail as a mode of transport for passengers and freight in order to decarbonise transport, a central target of the national Climate Action Plan. The creation of this new woodland, in partnership with Veon, will sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, help mitigate our transport emissions and enhance biodiversity which is a winning solution for all of us.”

According to Joe Codd, Business Development Director of Veon:

“This is really about demonstrating environmental leadership and making the general public aware of how important the government and state organisations view the necessity to enhance our local environment and help sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through native tree planting at local level and the promotion of biodiversity.  Biodiversity loss together with Climate Change are without doubt the biggest threats we face on the planet. Veon very much welcomes Iarnród Éireann’s continuing commitment to provide solutions, demonstrating leadership and positive climate action among state and semi-state organisations with this programme. Hopefully other such organisations will follow suit over the coming months”.

Feature image courtesy of Iarnród Éireann


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