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Fairyhouse playing its part for the environment

Fairyhouse Manager Peter RoeFairyhouse Manager Peter Roe
© Photo Healy Racing

Fairyhouse Racecourse, Levy Ireland and Horse Racing Ireland joined forces this week to partake in the community driven ‘100 Million Trees Project’ which is an initiative developed by brothers Richard and David Mulcahy aiming to reverse the environmental damage caused by the reduction of forests worldwide.

As part of their sustainability policy, Fairyhouse Racecourse’s catering partner, Levy Ireland, has committed to a climate net zero target by 2027 through 80% of carbon emissions decarbonised and the remaining 20% of carbon emissions neutralised through high quality carbon projects in the UK & Ireland.

Fairyhouse General Manager Peter Roe said: “Fairyhouse is delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Levy Ireland and the '100 Million Trees Project', in this exciting venture. Sustainability has become a focus for everyone, and this is particularly the case for Fairyhouse. We have selected a site overlooking the second last fence, to ensure this initiative will always be front and centre as we strive to lower our carbon footprint.”

100 million Trees Project co-founder David Mulcahy said: “We at the million-trees project are delighted to have the opportunity to plant a 2500 native Irish tree mini forest at the wonderful Fairyhouse Racecourse with the kind sponsorship of Levy Ireland. The mini forest will consist of 13 different native tree species, and hopefully will stand for many decades (and beyond) as a small contribution towards looking after our wonderful but under threat natural world.”

Victor Quinlan, HRI Capital Projects and Environmental Sustainability Lead, said: “HRI is investing time and resources in building strong sustainability foundations within our organisation, with a complete sustainability strategy to be launched in early December. Our vision is to drive and support the industry to become a recognised leader in sustainability. The ‘100 Million Trees Project’ is a great initiative, enhancing biodiversity at our racecourses and we hope that Fairyhouse will be the first of many racecourses to participate in this project.”

Jon Davies, Managing Director of Levy UK & Ireland said: “At Levy, we are 100% committed to doing what we can to limit the impact of our operations on the health of our planet. The '100 Million Trees Project' is an initiative we are fully behind, planting native Irish trees to help reverse the deforestation that has occurred across most European countries and to provide improved biodiversity and soil health.”

Levy Ireland Director Sharon Fitzpatrick said: “From the very first conversation that I had with Peter Roe about a potential planting site at Fairyhouse Racecourse, it was apparent that the authentic approach that we take towards reducing our carbon footprint and working towards a sustainable future, was as important to Peter and the Fairyhouse Racecourse team as it is t us at Levy Ireland. The synergy in our environmentally conscious mindsets is one of the things makes this partnership such a special one.”

Richard McNamara, General Manager, Levy Ireland Racecourse Division said: “Our sustainability policy at Levy Ireland is one that we take very seriously and being able to lead the charge in partnership with Fairyhouse Racecourse by coming together to plant a forest is another example of the proactive approach that we continually take. The 100 Million Trees Project initiative assists us as we continue to strive towards carbon net zero.”

The '100 Million Trees Project' involves planting fifteen species of native Irish trees on the Fairyhouse Racecourse site using the ‘Miyawaki method’ named after Japanese Botanist, Professor Akira Miyawaki, who developed the technique in the 1970s. In using this method, you plant excess trees together resulting in them growing 10 times faster, 30 times denser, creating an area 100 times more biodiverse and most importantly create a very rapid carbon sink. This approach requires significantly smaller planting areas and can be carried out on unused or fallow land across Ireland. This dense area of afforestation, after 5 years of growth, will trap 84 tonnes of carbon per annum while at the same time provide excellent areas of biodiversity.