Glanbia customers have reached a target set by the company to plant 100,000 native trees and hedgerow plants on farms a whole year ahead of schedule.

The trees were planted under Operation Biodiversity, as part of the 'Living Proof' sustainability strategy and show the enthusiasm that is out there in relation to improving habitats and biodiversity on farms.

Glanbia co-op is now making 10,000 potted native trees such as alder, birch, crab apple and oak, available to customers through its CountryLife garden centres and in its Athboy branch in Co Meath. One potted tree is available to each customer on a first come, first served basis.

Speaking on the achievement, John Murphy, chairperson of Glanbia Ireland and Glanbia co-op, stated: “We pledged to plant 100,000 native trees and hedgerows in two years. It was one of several on-farm commitments also included in our ‘Living Proof’ sustainability strategy. Today, we are delighted to report we have reached this target - a full year ahead of schedule.

“Our farm family suppliers have demonstrated strong commitment to sustainability action by embracing the Operation Biodiversity initiative with great gusto.”

He added that he wanted co-op members to celebrate the “positive” decision to acquire full ownership of Glanbia Ireland by planting a tree on their farm.

“This will ensure that we continue to better serve our communities, farmers and colleagues for this generation and the next generation to come. We want our farm family suppliers and our customers to celebrate this decision and mark it by planting a native tree in their garden or on the farm,” he added.

Operation Biodiversity continues for 2022

Operation Biodiversity will continue into 2022. Bunches of trees can be purchased and for every 15 native trees purchased, Glanbia Ireland will give away a further 10 for free. For every two bundles of hedging plants purchased, a third bundle will be given away for free - this equates to another 10m of hedgerow. Advice is available in store to choose plants and trees most suited to your soil type and environment.

What trees should you plant on your farm?

The trees and hedgerow bundles are grouped according to soil type.

Trees for acidic soil

Alder, oak, Scots pine, mountain ash and birch.

Trees for limey soil

Grey willow, oak and mountain ash.

Hedgerow plants for acidic soil

Whitethorn, blackthorn, alder, oak, Scots pine and mountain ash.

Hedgerow plants for limey soil

Whitethorn, euonymus europaeus, hazel, grey willow, oak and mountain ash.