Birr Castle Plans Largest Redwood Grove Outside California

Lord Rosse and his grandchildren, William,Olivia, Bee, and Charlotte with one of the redwoods on the grounds of Birr Castle. (Photo: Chris Bellew / Fennell Photography)
Lord Rosse and his grandchildren, William,Olivia, Bee, and Charlotte with one of the redwoods on the grounds of Birr Castle. (Photo: Chris Bellew / Fennell Photography)

By Olivia O’Mahony, Editorial Assistant
December / January 2017

The largest forest grove of giant redwoods outside of California will be planted through a public participation project by Birr Castle and the Irish environmental organization Crann – Trees for Ireland. The initiative, called Giants Grove, was announced in October and celebrates the 30-year anniversary of Crann and the 80th birthday of Brendan Parsons, the 7th Earl of Rosse in Birr Castle, Co. Offaly.

The redwoods of Giants Grove will be the first rooted in Irish soil since the most recent Ice Age, symbolizing Ireland’s global concern for biodiversity enhancement and conservation in a time where climate change throws the future of California’s own redwood population into uncertainty.

“This project is very close to my heart,” Lord Rosse said in a public statement. “Our grandchildren, their grandchildren, Birr, Ireland, and the world will benefit from this magnificent forest grove.” Planting begins in spring 2017. ♦

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