Week three at Organic College, and Ted Cook

Weeks three's report comes in early as the week began on a high with a visit from Tree man Ted Cook. Here is some blurb on the man, courtesy of the Woodland League, of which he is a founding member


"Ted Cook pioneered the concept of 'treestoration' projects, one of which is in Broadford, Co.Limerick, in a one-hectare quarry site that was left to the people of Broadford by Lord Muskerry of Springfield Castle in the 19th century. The quarry came to be used as a dump and, as such, became heavily polluted. In the 1990s, local developers wished to build on the site but the community opposed this and exercised their rights via Agenda 21. As an alternative, they promoted a plan created by Ted Cook to convert the quarry into a native tree arboretum as an education resource for the local school, with the added benefit of the power of the trees to clean up the pollution. Firstly, a nursery was established in situ and gradually all twenty species native to Ireland were groomed for planting on the site. This initiative became a millennium project for the community. The first flora and fauna count was taken at the start of the project, and came to 65 species. By 2004 the count had increased to over 400 species with the trees providing a 15ft canopy. The project has been a huge success in restoring a degraded public space using nature." 


The arboretum was a fascinating place to visit. I've always been the kind of person who breezes past trees but never knew my Oak from my Ash, never mind my Spindle from my Hazel. Ted Cook is a profoundly enjoyable human to be with. He knows his trees, nay worships them. Relationships come and go, he says, but trees live beyond us. I won't witter on. To listen to him wax lyrical about our own history, Limericks glittering past and enchanting stories, Brehon law and to wander in and out of poetic verse was pure pleasure. It was a rare visit into what it is to be of Ireland, and a brief reminder of who we are and how much our trees are of us and beyond. We were all enchanted by this gentle and passionate person, a gift, aware and present. So much to learn. Ted seemed to have an effect on all of us, his presence, along with the full moon meant sleepless nights all round. But so worth it. I took lots of pictures of Ted, but I feel he would rather I show the trees. I don't have all the right names. 


These are tree wasp eggs, they look cute. I was told I should put them back under their tree and they would be ok 

1 thought on “Week three at Organic College, and Ted Cook

  1. I was delightfully impressed with Ted Cooke. He is truly a passionate and valuable custodian of our nature inheritance . We were gifted a most fascinating and knowledgeable talk in the Tree Arboretum, Broadford last Sunday. There we planted a Holly tree in honour of Teresa Tracy. Well done Ted. We should all take a leaf out of your book! Margaret

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