Delegates from Ireland, the UK and continental Europe attended
a two-day event hosted by Coillte in Carrick-on-Shannon to
mark the conclusion of the LIFE Project - Restoring Raised
Bog in Ireland.
Coillte’s Raised Bog restoration project represents a very
important conservation initiative, with 571 hectares of Raised
Bog on Coillte’s estate rehabilitated. This project will preserve
a unique part of our heritage for future generations.
The event consisted of a one-day indoor conference and a
second day which was spent visiting two of the project sites
in Counties Galway and Roscommon. The conference took place
in the Landmark Hotel and included speakers from -
- Coillte on Managing High Conservation Value areas in Coillte
and on the Raised Bog Restoration Project
- National Parks and Wildlife Service on Raised Bog Restoration
- the Irish Peatland Conservation Council on Management
of Lodge Bog - and
- Scottish Wildlife Trust on the success of their LIFE
Raised Bog Restoration Projects.
In 2004, with the support of EU LIFE Nature funding, Coillte
embarked on this project to restore raised bogs on 14 sites
spread throughout the Midlands.
Coillte is a commercial company operating in forestry, land-based
businesses, energy and panel products. The company, which
today employs over 1,200 people, was established in 1989 and
owns over 445,000 hectares of land - approximately 7% of the
land cover in Ireland.
In 2004, Coillte received funding from the EU LIFE–Nature
Programme to actively restore 571 hectares of raised bog habitat
on 14 midland sites in counties Galway, Roscommon, Longford,
Westmeath, Meath, Cavan and Laois.
The peatlands of the Irish midlands are among the most important
raised bog systems remaining in Europe and it is estimated
that Ireland contains 50% of the intact oceanic raised bog
systems in Europe. All 14 sites are candidate Special
Areas of Conservation (cSACs) under the EU Habitats Directive
and provide habitat for a range of rare plant and animal species.
This project addressed the main ecological threats that affect
raised bog habitats such as -
of 450 hectares of plantation forest;
- blocking drains to raise water levels
and restore the hydrological balance of the peatland areas;
- removal of naturally-regenerating trees
from adjacent areas of open, unplanted bog;
- perimeter protection of vulnerable raised
bog sites against fire - and
- consultations to secure control of turbary
(turf cutting) rights.
The raised bogs of Ireland are important for a wide variety
of reasons - including carbon storage, water supply and biodiversity.
Raised bogs have a rich diversity of Flora and
Fauna. These plants (including spp. Sphagnum mosses,
sundews, cranberries and bog rosemary) and animals
(ranging from Red Deer to migrating Greenland white-fronted
geese) are specially adapted to the wet and nutrient poor
conditions that prevail on raised bogs. Many of these plants
and animal species are considered rare in a European context.
For further information, contact -
LIFE 04 Project
Tel: 044 9342744 / Mob: 086 2502571
Email: [email protected]