Press Release 18th October 2012
Giving Girley Bog, Co. Meath A Helping Hand
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 in the Bog of Allen since 2009. The trials have been such a success that IPCC are now going on the road to teach others the technique.
The day long course is aimed at peatland managers and will take place on the 24th October in the Old Darnley Lodge Hotel, Athboy and Girley Bog in Co. Meath starting at 11am. “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. “This form of restoration has the potential to turn damaged bogs back into carbon sinks and could be scaled up to provide a commercial moss peat product” says Dr O’Connell who is keen to have a good turn out for this course.
Three other courses have been given on this technique to date in Kildare, Roscommon and Offaly during the summer. The courses have been well received and there has been strong interest from the NPWS, Farmers, IFA, Bord na Mona, Independent consultants, Local Authorities, Teagasc and Coillte. These courses are supported by the Heritage Council as part of the Heritage, Community & Outreach Grants Scheme 2012.