Skip to main content

NIE Networks embarking on major tree planting programme

Article image

27 Nov 2023

NIE Networks is embarking on a major tree planting programme which will see in excess of 10,000 native trees planted across Northern Ireland before next April.

Starting Monday 27 November, the programme will have three strands;
  • A tree planting partnership with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV)
  • An employee scheme to Give a Tree a Home
  • Tree planted for every new employee
Judy McElroy, Sustainability and Environment Manager with NIE Networks, said: “Our Sustainability and Environmental Action Plan is built upon two interconnected foundations: Becoming a Net Zero Organisation and enacting our Environmental Stewardship.  We’re delighted to begin this programme which will allow the company to give back to nature and enhance the biodiversity of the communities in which we work.”
The commencement of the programme coincides with National Tree Week which takes place from 25 November to 3 December and sees volunteers plant thousands of trees to mark the start of tree planting season.  NIE Networks employees will be undertaking tree planting this week at sites in close proximity to their Belfast, Ballymena and Craigavon depots.
The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) will undertake the majority of the planting on the company’s behalf so NIE Networks have supplied TCV with an electric vehicle to assist with the programme.
Judy continued: “On a daily basis our tree patrollers work to monitor trees and vegetation growing close to overhead lines and carry out essential work to ensure we have a safe and reliable electricity network.  Working with The Conservation Volunteers has opened up so many opportunities for us to plant trees and renew native species for future generations. Our goal is to expand the programme, in partnership with TCV, so that we can plant 50,000 trees on an annual basis.” 
Another aspect of the programme will see 1000 tree saplings being distributed across company offices and depots so NIE Networks employees have the opportunity to “Give a Tree a Home”.   Trees will also be planted to mark every new employee to join the company as they are currently in a period of considerable growth with hundreds of jobs anticipated in the next number of years.
All trees planted will be native trees or local provenance.  Native trees are those tree species which reached Ireland after the last Ice Age and have been here since before humans arrived in Ireland.  Local provenance trees are those that are genetically native to Ireland and more closely adapted to local climate wildlife and biodiversity.
Photo caption
Judy McElroy, Sustainability and Environment Manager with NIE Networks, Robert Shearman, The Conservation Volunteers, Alastair Usher, Sustainability & Environment Officer, NIE Networks and David Morton MBA, Director for Scotland and Northern Ireland (Acting) at The Conservation Volunteers.