3rd October 2018
Boggers offset carbon footprints in restoration project
Leading peatland conservation group restores to life 64m2 of cutover bog on Girley Bog Natural Heritage Area, Co. Meath
Thanks to funding from the Heritage Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme 2018, the Irish Peatland Conservation Council (IPCC) trained local volunteers to undertake Sphagnum or bog moss restoration on cutover bog at Girley Bog.
Degraded cutover bogs which usually consist of bare peat release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, a gas that contributes to global warming. By transplanting peat forming Sphagnum mosses onto the bare peat the carbon leakage can be stopped and the newly growing moss can capture and store carbon in the bog once again.
Revegetated raised bog areas have the potential to store up to 1.13kg of CO2 per square meter per year (1). At Girley the restored area of 64m2 will potentially lock in 74.32kg of CO2 annually.
The method used to restore the bog is the Canadian Sphagnum transfer technique, to learn more about this method which was brought to Ireland by the IPCC follow this link.
IPCC have restored 2 areas using the same method on Girley bog in 2015 and both have been a huge success with Sphagnum mosses and other bog species colonising see figure 1.
Ten volunteers took part in the restoration work learning practical peatland management skills and gaining an understanding and appreciation of the work that needs to be done to conserve peatlands.
The restoration work was completed on the bare peat of the cutover bog on Girley Bog, the area that was used as a spreading ground for turf in the past. It was purchased by IPCC in 2013 and is now managed for conservation.
The success of this project will be closely monitored by IPCC in the coming years and will provide a demonstration site for the Sphagnum transfer technique. By collecting hard scientific data about the technique IPCC will be able to advise on future raised bog restoration projects.
Restoring active raised bog is crucial as it is the most threatened peatland type in Ireland and across Europe. We have a moral obligation as a nation to protect and enhance the raised bogs that remain.
For more information please contact Katie Geraghty at firstname.lastname@example.org or 045 860133.
- Reference: Lunt., P. 2018. Carbon Sequestration in temperate peatlands. Visualisation of research by Dr Paul Lunt and the Dartmoor Mires Research Team at the University of Plymouth. Real World Visuals
Figure 1: Photos showing a restoration area before inoculation with Sphagnum moss in 2015 on Girley Bog, Co. Meath and the same area three years later with Sphagnum mosses colonising.