As founder members of award winning social enterprise Pocket Forests, Ashe Conrad-Jones and Irish Times columnist Catherine Cleary are working to reconnect people with nature to tackle the biodiversity and climate crises.
For Applefest, they will present an introduction to community composting, and lead a walk along the Greenane Greenway talking about how to rejuvenate soils and plant small areas with native trees and shrubs. They have partnered with multiple institutions and Catherine writes 'Spend it Better', a weekly environmental column, with The Irish Times.
The two partners came across a concept called Tiny Forests during lockdown in the spring of 2020 but couldn’t find anyone doing it in Dublin. In their nature-deprived 2k radius in the inner city they saw potential pockets for urban native forests everywhere. They contacted Afforestt in India to ask them about Tiny Forests which use the Miyawaki method devised by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki. They talked to Maria from Earthwatch Europe who are rolling out the idea across England and Daan from IVN Nature Education in the Netherlands who are planting them across the country.
They dug in, learned about improving the soil, about permaculture, talked to tree experts, read books, planting and pruning guides, talked to a leading biodiversity educator, arts group Common Ground and academics involved in UCD’s Mapping Green Dublin, a TCD biodiversity expert, planners, artists, developers, geographers, landscapers and City Council officials. They composted everything down and pocket forests sprouted. More info about this amazing venture: https://www.pocketforests.ie/who-we-are