13,500 trees planted at Kirkistown Race Circuit

The 500 Motor Racing Club of Ireland have completed a massive tree planting exercise at Kirkistown Race Circuit, with help from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and their Forests For Our Future programme.

Recently, over a two-week period, 13,500 saplings have been planted at Kirkistown in Kircubbin, Co. Down. All of the trees are native species.

They will contribute to biodiversity and carbon sequestration, improving air, soil and water quality in the area.

While these trees will take a fair number of years to mature, when they do, they will radically change an area that has largely been untouched since the days when it was a World War II airfield.

Kirkistown Race Circuit will become a track that winds through picturesque woodland.

Trees to be used for noise reduction

The trees, when fully grown, will screen track activity from surrounding areas and will also greatly reduce noise emanating from the circuit.

Safety concerns have been addressed when choosing the location for the plantings. The mature trees will be a good distance from the track.

While the open viewing nature of the circuit will change radically, it will happen gradually over a period of years.

It is expected that this will coincide with continuing advances in technology, allowing quality footage from any part of the circuit to be relayed to race control and, possibly, to big screens in various public positions.

In March 2020, Environment Minister, Edwin Poots, announced plans to have 18 million trees planted in Northern Ireland by 2030.