Fermoy schoolchildren take classes under an historic tree

Fermoy schoolchildren take classes under an historic tree
EE 17/05/2019 NEWS - Fermoy Tidy Towns Bioversity Project Co-ordinator Donal O'Lochlainn speaking to pupils from Adair NS under a 350 year old Oak Tree in Fermoy and treaching them about biodiversity, environment and history of the town. Picture: Howard Crowdy

FERMOY’S Tidy Town group have come up with a novel way to reach out to school children to educate them about their environment.

A property, just behind the local swimming pool, is part of an estate that once belonged to the town’s founder, John Anderson. The property now belongs to David Horan.

Anderson was a Scotsman who came to Cork and became a wealthy businessman. Anderson Quay in Cork is named after him.

In 1791 he purchased lands in Fermoy and set up the mail coach system between Cork and Dublin.

He also provided land to the British Army, gratis, for two huge barracks. The town, naturally, sprung up around the military establishment.

On the land, once owned by Anderson, grows an Irish Oak. It has a girth of 5.6 metres and stands at about 30 metres tall. It appears in two landscape paintings of Fermoy, one circa 1840 and another from 1858. The family crest of the Anderson family features an oak and the family motto is Stand Firm.

The Tidy Town’s group have seized on this tree as a vehicle to bring the Fermoy schoolchildren into contact with the town’s history, its environment and biodiversity with a hedge school. The classes take place under the magnificence of this amazing tree.

The subjects of the class include history, mathematics, nature and adventure.

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