Our path is intertwined with the natural world. It supports us, feeds us, nurtures and shelters us. It harmonises our body, mind and helps to connect us to the spiritual aspects of self.
Like us, the natural wildlife, animals and plants around us depend on a thriving natural habitat that supports their needs and provides shelter, nourishment and space to roam and explore without fear.
The fact of the matter is, we are intertwined with the natural world. The space created here at Croí na Mara centres around our relationship with the natural world and sustaining harmony within it. This is in homage to the close relationship our ancestors held with nature and their understanding of the conscious role humanity holds in sustaining it's wellbeing.
As we benefit from natural resources to grow and expand our communities, we must also take the time and space to reflect upon what we can give back, how we can support our natural world, how we can help it to thrive.
In 2023, we are called upon to take immediate and definitive action to support the natural world around us. Industry, convenience and unethical expansion of technology and consumerism has created a surplus of carbon emissions and pollution into the air, toxic pollution in our waters and rapid deforestation and destruction of plants and trees around the world.
The level of human destruction caused within the last 200 years alone is immense. Unsurmountable it feels.
But we are not here to heal the collective human relationship with the earth. We are not here to talk statistics and timelines. We are here to take responsibility for our own actions and the potential we have to create change in the environment we live within. Change and responsibility begins with the individual along with the desire for a cleaner, safer and kinder world for not only ourselves, but for the living beings that co-exist here with us.
Here in the West of Ireland, we are deeply fortunate to have a thriving wild and rugged landscape to enjoy. In Mayo we have protected forests and beaches, mountains that are considered sacred, internationally renowned fishing waters, bogland and large swathes of land under strict conservation. Our changeable weather means observing the sky and the wind direction is second nature. We are not greater than nature, and we understand that very well here. We understand the benefits it provides us, the way it feeds into the very fibre of our being and guides us through our daily lives.
This places us in an optimal position to reflect and take action. We feel the changes in the landscape over the last 20 years. That combined with lived experience from our childhood helps guide us towards rebuilding safe, healthy habitats for wildlife and supporting sustainable biodiversity in our local area. We know we can do better and we know what better looks like.
At Croí na Mara, a tree is planted on behalf of our Tuath Croí na Mara members every month. It is a community effort. We work in partnership with Mark and Flint from Catch my Carbon in Westport who take care of the heavy lifting. They work with local landowners who kindly donate land to create native Irish woodlands, with intention of enhancing sustainable biodiversity here along the west coast of Ireland. The trees are sourced from local tree nurseries. They are planted by Mark and Flint themselves, along with the support from volunteers and the land owners. Each tree has it's own unique id which is traceable to it's location and year of planting.
So there is a lot of community investment involved, but who benefits?
Nature does. The earth benefits, the natural wildlife and the children of the future who will have beautiful woodlands to explore and enjoy. This is central to living in alignment with the indigenous practices of this land. We observe the challenges surfacing today, the challenges on the horizon for tomorrow and take action now. Just as our ancestors, the many generations before have done for us in planted a better future that we now enjoy today.
Thank you for being a part of our effort towards sustainable biodiversity and the restoration of native Irish woodlands here in the West of Ireland, and taking personal responsibility for the role you play in protect our natural home.
Míle buíochas ó chroí,