I visited Derraghan Woods, Co. Longford to inspect one of Bord na Mona’s new enterprises.
Tapping birch trees for their liquid is popular in Finland and the Baltic states because of the range of health benefits that birchwater provides.
For the three weeks a year that winter transitions into spring, water, minerals and sugars are pushed up from the roots of the birch and the trunks are tapped to release the liquid.
The birchwater is collected using a method similar to the one used for harvesting maple syrup in North America.
Bord na Móna is investigating the potential for birchwater harvesting as part of its strategy to expand its range of low-carbon business operations and create sustainable jobs.
The birchwater initiative is part of a €1.6 billion development pipeline of renewable energy, resource recovery and new businesses outlined in Bord na Mona’s Brown to Green Strategy.
Joining me for the tree tapping were Vincent Redmond, Head of New Business, Transition and Communications, Bord na Móna and Bord na Mona CEO Tom Donnellan.