9 September 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Cork County Council owns Mallow Castle, which has the potential to be an impressive stately home attracting visitors, but meanwhile, it has won an award for a forest on site
Cork County Council has received a Special Commendation Award in the 2020 RDS Community Woodlands Awards, part of the annual RDS Spring Agriculture and Forestry Awards celebrating and promoting the principles of climate-smart agriculture in Ireland.
The Commendation was awarded for the extensive tree planting programme undertaken by the Council in Lower Castle Park Woodland in Mallow. Located on the northern side of the River Blackwater in the centre of Mallow town, the 15-hectare Lower Castle Park Woodland is part of a wider 32-hectare park incorporating the town park, playing fields, Mallow Castle and House Park, and Deerpark with its well-loved herd of 55 White Head Deer.
Cork County Council have invested significant resources in the park and are implementing a framework strategy for the phased development of the grounds of Mallow Castle to provide a high-quality amenity park and visitor destination in Mallow town. Current work includes full walking trails through the Lower Park, the creation of wildflower areas for biodiversity, increased native tree planting, Blueway development with associated facilities, angling stand development, improved sports facilitates and restoration of the walled gardens of Mallow Castle House.
Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Mary Linehan Foley commented;
“The plans in place for Mallow Town Park and Spa house are really fantastic and will provide for accessibility for all, as well as sustainability, promoting biodiversity and ecology while being sensitive to the historic setting. The RDS Forestry Awards celebrate inspiring examples of Irish forest and woodland management and it is an honour to see Cork County Council and Mallow Town Park listed amongst these.”
Cork County Council’s Divisional Manager North, James Fogarty added;
“Working in partnership with the community and local and national organisations, Cork County Council is developing a public amenity town park framework for Mallow in North County Cork. With this, an extensive tree planting programme has been progressed under the Neighbour Woods Scheme in Lower Castle Park Woodland. It’s wonderful for this project to be recognised by the RDS Community Woodland Award. The woodland area of the park is enjoyed by many people daily, for recreation, exercise and as an educational resource on biodiversity. For Cork County Council, sustainable design and energy efficiency are integral to the design process, from public lighting to sustainable re-use of vacant buildings and planting for biodiversity, every aspect of the town park plans is being designed with sustainability in mind.”