Under the Tree since 1963: Spar celebrates 60 years in Ireland with the planting of native Irish woodlands
In partnership with the Tree Council of Ireland, Spar is aiming to create mature oak woodlands in 100 years’ time
20 June 2023
In celebration of 60 years of business in Ireland, Spar will plant 20,000 trees this year across six sites nationwide as part of its ‘Spar Team Tree’ initiative.
In marking this milestone anniversary, ‘Under the Tree since ‘63’, Spar has joined forces with the Tree Council of Ireland in identifying sites in Sligo, Waterford, Dublin, Wexford, Wicklow and Galway. Three of the six sites have already been planted with native Irish trees, while the remainder will be planted later in the year.
The aim of the sites is to create mature oak woodlands in 100 years’ time, leaving a lasting legacy on the Irish countryside, just as Spar has done in the 60 years its retailers have been operating in communities throughout Ireland. In addition to the oak saplings, other native species being planted include alder, birch, Scots pine, willow, mountain ash, holly, hawthorn, blackthorn, spindle, aspen, cherry, hazel, whitebeam and elm.
The symbol of the tree has long been associated with Spar, and this native woodland planting is in addition to Spar’s sponsorship of National Tree Day for primary schools. The initiative, run by the Tree Council of Ireland, takes place in October and invites children across Ireland join ‘Team Tree’ and plant a tree on their school grounds.
Marking the 60th anniversary and the launch of ‘Team Tree’ were the Clarke Family from Dublin as they also celebrate a legacy of their own. Father and son Ray and Nathan Clarke opened their first Spar store in Longboat Quay 18 years ago and have since expanded to three other locations.
Speaking about ‘Team Tree’ and the 60-year celebrations, Nathan Clarke said: “It’s lovely to see this lasting legacy being planted here in County Dublin. I look at my parents and my children and the huge role Spar has played in our lives. It’s fitting that on behalf of all the retailers and customers, Spar is giving back to the community and county here in Dublin and across the country in this meaningful and lasting way. These native woodlands will be something we can look back on and know we made a difference.”
“These woodlands are the gold standard from an environmental and public appreciation perspective,” said Brendan Fitzsimons, CEO of the Tree Council of Ireland.
“They are vastly more biodiverse than the agricultural land they replace and host a huge variety of plants, animals, insects, fungi and lichens,” he continued. “They also represent endless educational, recreational and research opportunities and leave a rich legacy that can be enjoyed by the generations to come.”
“We’re extremely proud of our partnership with the Tree Council of Ireland and the wonderful work they do,” added Helen Lalor, Spar marketing manager. “As we celebrate Spar’s 60th anniversary, it’s entirely fitting that we support this very unique initiative, which will undoubtedly raise much needed awareness and leave a long-lasting reminder of Spar’s ‘Team Tree’ initiative.”
The planting of these Native Irish Woodlands is funded by Spar through its National Charity Partner Programme and funds are raised by a donation of sales from selected Spar own-brand Products.