PRESS RELEASE 6th June 2012
Five Steps that have the potential to Restore Living Bogs in Ireland
A ground breaking workshop has been developed to help in the restoration of the living plant skin onto bare peat areas of bogs in Ireland. The technique known as the Sphagnum Moss Transfer Method is used to restore bogs in Canada. This method has been trialed by the Irish Peatland Conservation Council on a bog in Co. Kildare since 2009.
The day long course is aimed at peatland managers and will take place on the 26th June in the Bog of Allen Nature Centre, Co. Kildare starting at 10am. “Participants will be shown how to give the bogs a helping hand in their recovery from damage” says Dr Catherine O’Connell, the course tutor. “IPCC will be demonstrating the 5 steps involved in the restoration of bogs in Canada which have been shown to work in the Irish bog environment. These include (i) drain blocking to raise the water level in the bog; (ii) leveling and peat substrate preparation; (iii) collection of Sphagnum moss from a donor site; (iv) inoculation of the restoration site with Sphagnum moss fragments; and (v) covering the site with a protective layer of straw” she added. After one year under the straw, the Moss fragments start to grow in the moist environment and within three years they cover bare peat areas. In 10 years an impressive thickness of moss peat covers the original damaged peat surface. “It’s really impressive” says Dr O’Connell who is keen to have a good turn out for this course.
This up-skilling course which is being provided by the Irish Peatland Conservation Council is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Science, Technology, Research & Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE) Programme 2007 – 2013
Another three courses will be run in Meath, Roscommon and Offaly during the summer. These courses are supported by the Heritage Council as part of the Heritage, Community & Outreach Grants Scheme 2012.