Dialogue For Diversity

Dialogue For Diversity

The ACRE Project

 Our Vision                    Our Projects

Our Vision

The Acre Project was set up by Jesuits in Northern Ireland in 2020 to support and encourage ground-level groups saving our planet from burning and drowning at the same time.

It is a project of Dialogue For Diversity and works out of the vision of Laudato 'Si, Pope Francis' letter on Sister Earth.

We believe that people in local communities experience most acutely the effects of the brutal destruction of our planet which has been taking place for decades. But we also believe that these same communities have the power to address this disaster and to nurture renewed growth and life, protecting our planet for future generations.

Our Projects


Thursday 3 February 2020

The project is a partnership between ACRE and Barcroft Community Gardens, Newry.

What’s a Pocket Forest?

Pocket Forests are tiny biodiverse forests, usually located in urban areas, which are planted in small areas, ranging from the size of a car park space up to that of a basketball court. 350 trees can fit in the same space as six to seven parked cars.

Soil preparation, including adding lots of organic material to the soil, feeding the worms and microorganisms which are essential for healthy soil, is the first step in creating these forests. A wide range of native trees and shrubs are densely planted together encouraging fast growth which quickly bear fruits, attracting birds, butterflies and bees.

The Pocket Forest will create a pocket powerhouse of carbon sequestration. The soil, microbes, plants and insects create a biodiversity hotspot that grows 10 times faster, is 30 times denser and absorbs 16 times more carbon than conventional forests. And they enhance the biodiversity in the local area.


Barcroft Gardens partnered with local St Monina’s Primary School and 31 Primary 4 children attended the planting to learn about Pocket Forests. The site will be used for on-going outdoor classes with local schools.

Local communities

ACRE played a key role at the beginning of the project. But the project is wholly owned by Barcroft Community Gardens: they are the local community at the centre of everything.

The project could not have succeeded without the technical know-how of PocketForests.ie. They are the group who have played a huge part in Pocket Forests planted all over the South.


As well as the Jesuits in Ireland, who gave seed funding to ACRE, this project has been generously funded by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. Their grant was the largest they have given for this kind of project. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council also contributed.

Look at a short video of preparing the ground for the Pocket Forest:


Ashe Conrad Jones (PocketForests.ie), Frank Johnston (Barcroft Gardens) and Brian Lennon, S.J. preparing the ground for planting the Pocket Forest


New Bug Hotel in Mullacreevie Park, Armagh, 21 November 2020

The new Bug Hotel in Mullacreevie Park, Armagh, 21 November 2020The Start of the new Bug Hotel in Mullacreevie Park, Armagh, 21 November 2020