Pictured here is Lord Rosse and his grandchildren Charlotte, Olivia, Bee, William and Henry and some of the redwood saplings and a Giant redwood behind them.
On the occasion of Lord Rosse’s 80th birthday and Crann's 30th anniversary, Birr Castle and Crann – Trees for Ireland, have announced ambitious plans to create, through public participation, the largest forest grove of giant redwoods outside of California, within the historic gardens of Birr Castle Gardens.
Space in the Giants Grove of giant or coastal redwood trees will be sponsored in the names of Irish people living abroad as well as people here at home. Space can also be in the names of loved ones gone before us. A certificate will be provided with GPS details of your place in the redwood forest grove. In addition to paying for the planting and establishment costs, sponsorship, starting at €500, will provide a trust fund for the care & maintenance of the forest grove. As well as a certificate of dedication, the names of the sponsors will be inscribed in a book of honour at Birr Castle and online at www.giantsgrove.ie
Giants Grove will be a legacy project initiated by Lord Rosse and Crann. Birr Castle Estate has allocated the land for the project. Lord Rosse said, “This project is very close to my heart. Our grandchildren, their grandchildren, Birr, Ireland and the world will benefit from this magnificent forest grove. These will be the biggest trees in Ireland and the largest collection outside of California, fittingly here in Birr in a place which has the biggest treehouse in Ireland and also had the largest telescope in the world for over 70 years.
"We would like to offer everyone the opportunity to be part of a Redwood Forest Grove here in Ireland. By investing in this project with us, the sponsors will have the opportunity to make a personal impact on Ireland’s environment and world biodiversity conservation. Even if your family has long left Ireland, by investing in the Giants Grove you can ensure their family roots remain in Ireland for generations to come.”
Giants Grove will endure for the next 1000 years or more. Giants Grove gives the opportunity to individuals at home and abroad to create this magnificent redwood forest grove in the heart of the Midlands. It is designed to signify the giant place that our sons and daughters have in our hearts.
The return to Ireland of redwoods, which were native here before the geologically recent ice age, will be a symbol of Ireland’s global concern for biodiversity enhancement and conservation, especially at the present time where climate change represents a threat to the long term survival of redwoods in California.
Looking back on his 80 years, Lord Rosse says that he and his family are driven by history saying that.
“One can't be otherwise, when you sit at a dining table with your ancestors all looking down at you, going directly back seven or eight generations. My family has been here since 1620. Being reared by my father who kept them alive in our memories by remarking this one built the telescope and that one built the suspension bridge and this one invented the steam turbine and this one invented photography and then he would point a finger at me, and say, what are you going to do? Now with the help of Crann's expertise we will establish this magnificently unique giant redwood forest grove"