A survey of parents has revealed that almost a third (31%) of children in Ireland have never climbed a tree.
The RED C poll for ESB Tree Week also found that one in 10 have never even visited a forest or wooded area.
Showcasing the growing disconnect Irish people have with trees, ESB brought parents and children through local woodlands, assessing their behaviour and asked both groups, “Why are trees important?”
While parents were distracted by their phones and focused on the functional aspect of trees, in stark contrast, the children came to life when surrounded by them.
The journey was brought to life in a short film titled ‘Wood for the Trees’.
The research found that 82% of the respondents commenting that walking through a forest has a calming effect on them.
The findings of the survey also reveal that parents claim nearly half (48%) of Irish children spend more time in front of a screen than outdoors.
RED C interviewed a random representative sample of 1,002 adults aged 18+ by phone between February 18-22.
Running from March 6-13, ESB Tree Week hopes to reignite the nation’s love of trees through hundreds of events all over the country.
The purpose of the week is to encourage people to go outside, learn about, grow, and most importantly enjoy trees.
This year, the Irish public are invited to share their personal tree stories using the #ESBTreeWeek campaign hashtag.
It is being organised by The Tree Council of Ireland, supported by Coillte and sponsored by ESB.
Pat O’Doherty of ESB said: “Tree Week is a good fit for ESB because it reflects the spirit of what we stand for in terms of promoting sustainability, respecting nature and supporting communities right across Ireland.
“ESB Tree Week provides an opportunity to remind people why trees matter, and together with the Tree Council of Ireland, we are encouraging people to take the time to appreciate them, either by learning about them, planting them or just simply getting out into the fresh air to enjoy them.”
Kevin Hutchinson, President of the Tree Council of Ireland said: “This year’s ESB Tree Week promises to be the biggest one yet with hundreds of events happening around the country to celebrate trees.
“We hope that people of all ages are able to get out and enjoy their local events.
“With the support of ESB we have been able to reach out further and deeper into communities to demonstrate the benefits of trees and get more people involved than ever before.”
“Coillte is delighted to be providing the 15,000 native Irish trees which are at the heart of the events taking place around the country between the sixth and 13th March. Coillte has donated approx. 450,000 trees since Tree Week began and has been a proud supporter of the event and of the Tree Council of Ireland for 30 years.”
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