The Irish Peatland Conservation Council giving a voice and taking action for peatlands since 1982
10th March 2022
Following a debate on the future of Irish bogs organised by An Taisce and held in University College Dublin a conversation was started exploring the changing peatland landscape in Ireland. Wet and wild peatland habitats that were once filled with magic carpets of Sphagnum mosses, insect eating sundews, darting dragonflies, calling Curlews and drumming Snipes were being mined creating brown fields devoid of life. As the discussion progressed it was evident that significant losses in peatland habitat and their associated ecosystem services, that is the benefits they provide us all, were of a national concern. At the time peatland habitat had no voice, the scale of the loss was unknown and no action was been taken to raise awareness of the concerns for the loss of peatland habitat with Government or community. A habitat described by Seamus Heaney in his poem Bogland, 1969, as Ireland’s ‘unfenced country’ was being lost and something had to be done.
The National Peatland Conservation Committee (NPCC), a voluntary committee worked hard to develop the first inventory of peatland sites in Ireland and an Action Plan for their conservation. In 1985 NPCC resigned and The Irish Peatland Conservation Council was formed setting out its mission to conserve a representative sample of Irish peatlands for people today and future generations to enjoy. The launch of the Save the Bogs Campaign aimed to protect peatlands, promote the understanding awareness and enjoyment of peatlands and wildlife and advocate for the wise use and management of natural peatland resources. With your help the Save the Bogs Campaign has resulted in peatlands been recognised as a habitat to study on the national curriculum, six peatland Conservation Action Plans were published, a network of six national nature reserves are conserved for us all and together peatland site management, research, species monitoring, skill sharing and policy are just some of the actions we have taken for Ireland’s wild open peatlands.
The Irish Peatland Conservation Council are delighted to share that they have recently received funding support from The Heritage Council under the Heritage Capacity Support Fund 2022. With this funding support the Irish Peatland Conservation Council will work to publish the story of the Save the Bogs Campaign, engage with peatland custodians to transfer peatland site management skills including water and species monitoring and continue to give a voice and represent peatland habitat at a local and national level.
To learn more and get involved with the work of the Irish Peatland Conservation Council you are invited to visit the Council’s headquarters at the Bog of Allen Nature Centre. To keep up to date with events including free family open days and volunteering opportunities join us on social media and visit our website www.ipcc.ie.