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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Dec 2017 right left

    
01

Christmas Fair at The Argory

Saturday 2nd December
The Argory, Moy
Normal Admission, Members Free

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NIEL AGM 2017 & GDPR Information Session

Wednesday 6th December
Window on Wildlife (WOW), Belfast
Free

Santa’s Magical Kingdom at The Argory

Thursday 7th December
The Argory, Moy
Adult £7 Child £15

Fermanagh Choral Society Christmas Concerts

Friday 8th December
Castle Coole
Adult £15

Yuletide Market at Rowallane

Saturday 9th December
Rowallane Garden
Normal Admission, Members Free

Have a go: Coppicing

Saturday 9th December
Strangford Lough
No Charge, Donations Welcome

Magical Christmas

Saturday 9th December
Castle Coole
Adult £5, Child £15

Belfast’s First Repair Café

Saturday 9th December
Farset Labs, Belfast
Free

Path Maintenance & Scrub Control

Sunday 10th December
Balloo Wetland & Woodland, Bangor
Free

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15

Dec out your Gingerbread Man

Saturday 16th December
Rowallane Garden
Normal Admission, Members Free, Donations Welcome

Christmas Social Event

Sunday 17th December
Members House
N/K

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NI Tree of the Year announced… 7 December 2017

NI Tree of the Year has been revealed today! (via The Woodland Trust)

 

WT1

Photo by Michael Cooper Photography

An oriental plane tree of ancient Greek descent has been crowned Northern Ireland’s Tree of the Year in a search for the nation’s best–loved tree.

Organised by the Woodland Trust, the competition saw six splendid specimens1 compete for public favour, with the champion securing 1,732 votes.

The winner, the Erskine House Tree, is sandwiched between Belfast City Hospital and Queen’s University Belfast and, in terms of height, could give the high–rise buildings a run for their money.  It is however taking a bow, not because of its size, but because of a remarkable story backed by powerful public support.

This much–loved tree is a descendent of the famous Greek ‘Plane Tree of Kos’, under whose shade Hippocrates, the father of medicine, taught in 500 BC. In the 1960s a young Greek doctor, Dimitrios Oreopoulos, undertook kidney research at Queen’s University and Belfast City Hospital, later gaining worldwide fame for developing a form of kidney dialysis.  In appreciation of his time here, Dimitrios presented seeds from the Plane Tree of Kos for planting in the hospital grounds.  Only one – the Erskine House Tree – flourished and survived and is, today, an oasis of calm and a symbol of hope for patients, staff and students.

Dimitrios’ son, Dr George Oreopoulos, who recently visited the Belfast tree, said the gifting of the seed was: “a symbolic gesture of thanks from a young Greek doctor who was grateful for an opportunity. It is with this that I hope my own son learns never to underestimate the importance of small gestures of thanks that can grow into something great long after you’re gone.”  

The Erskine House Tree was nominated by Dr Gerry Gormley, Clinical Senior Lecturer at Queen’s; Professor Peter Maxwell, Clinical Professor from the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at Queen’s; and Dr James Douglas, former Nephrologist at Belfast City Hospital.

WT2

Photo by Parkway Photography

Dr Gormley said: “The team are thrilled and honoured to be announced as this year’s winner. There were many worthy trees in the competition, each of them with such a unique story. Being involved with the Erskine House tree has truly been a humbling and uplifting experience. The tree’s heritage, and what it represents, made a connection with so many people. Not only symbolising the huge advances that Northern Ireland has made to the treatment of individuals with renal disease, but also providing a beacon of hope to those living with renal disease.”

The tree received widespread support throughout the region, with TV presenter and patron of Northern Ireland’s Kidney Patients’ Association, Eamonn Holmes also lending his support.

Read the full press release here…