In May 2016 Just Forests in association with Killarney Chamber of Commerce and Tourism and Kerry County Council organised a week-long series of events in and around Killarney Town.

Why? Because it’s a LIVELIHOOD issue as well as a cultural, environmental, spiritual and ecological one for thousands of people in the hospitality/tourism sector in Ireland .

And linking our LIVELIHOODS to NATURE is what Barking Up The Rite Tree (BURT) is all about by means of the the WOODOFLIFE Goals.

The purpose of the events was to highlight the priceless contribution trees play in the everyday life of the tourism sector in the region. Killarney National Park gets over 1 MILLION visitors annually. Will they continue to come if Killarney’s oaks dissapear? What will the thousands of  people who work in the tourism sector do if Killarney National Park becomes a giant ash-pit?

As you will see from the most recent NEWS articles on the Save Killarney National Park website fires have raged through the park with devastating effects on wildlife and our remaining temperate rainforest of oaks – see NEWS section – UPDATED on Saturday 5th June – World Environment Day 2021. In particular, check out Anne Lucey’s article in the Irish Times – Saturday 22nd May, 2021, where she very rightly challenges the tourism-sector for their failure to put enough into saving the park considering the €MILLIONS they make annually off the park.

Also An invasive species of flowering shrub – Rhododendron ponticum is prolific in the region and out of control and is suppressing the establishment of new oak trees. The red deer population is also a major contributory factor to the decline in the number of new oak trees.

As a former volunteer with Killarney Mountain Meitheal for a number of years it is Just Forests belief that a voluntary effort ONLY is not sufficient we need to get the army in to ‘break-the-back-of-the-problem’, and deal with the invasive species issue once and for all. Then the voluntary effort can come in and do the necessary maintenance –see article here.

Special thanks to ©Valerie O’Sullivan well-known Killarney photographer for kind permission to use some photos of the 1,977 people who took part in the Killarney Tree Hug during our Killarney Celebration of Trees Week in May 2016

Find out more about what you can do during the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 – visit the website