Peat Crossing Borderlines – Sharing the Dutch-Irish Save the Bogs Story

peat crossing borderlinesPRESS RELEASE

25th July 2018

Peat Crossing Borderlines – Sharing the Dutch-Irish Save the Bogs Story

Leading peatland conservation group to host ‘Peat Crossing Borderlines’ event to celebrate International Bog Day as part of European Year of Cultural Heritage.

The weekend event will highlight the connection between Ireland and the Netherlands in the journey to save the bogs of Ireland.

Peat Crossing Borderlines will provide an opportunity to share the Dutch-Irish Save the Bogs story and begin a new conversation about conserving Irish bogs.

The Irish Peatland Conservation Council (IPCC) will host the ‘Peat Crossing Borderlines’ event at the Bog of Allen Nature Centre in Co. Kildare on Saturday 28th of July from 7.30pm. The evening will include a welcome reception followed by an exciting line-up of speakers.

On Sunday 29th of July a special Bog tour will leave from the Bog of Allen Nature Centre at 9.30am and will visit Scragh Bog, Co. Westmeath and Girley Bog in Co. Meath.

Dutch people started to buy Irish Bogs in 1987. The inspiration came from Matthijs Schouten – a student from the Netherlands who was studying Irish Bogs as part of his Doctoral thesis. The Netherlands were the first country in Europe to cut away all of their bogs. Like Ireland peat was extracted for fuel.

Matthijs was shocked when he started visiting Irish bogs to find that the machines were already removing the wildlife and cutting peat industrially. He was afraid that Ireland was heading in the same direction the Dutch had years before – the road to peatland extinction.

To capture the imagination of the Irish people and to justify the Dutch people telling Irish people to conserve bogs he launched  a campaign to purchase three bogs in three years in Ireland. These bogs were handed over to the Irish government so that they would be protected for the Irish People and were designated as National Nature Reserves.

Scragh Bog, Co. Westmeath was the first bog purchased by the Dutch and will be the first stop on the Bog tour taking place on Sunday 28th July.

To learn more about the Dutch-Irish Save the Bog Story visit

Professor Matthijs Schouten from the Dutch Foundation for the Conservation of Irish Bogs talks about the importance of Ireland’s peatlands on a European level “We will never be able to recreate a bog in Holland, because even with 10 million Euros you cannot get a bog back, bogs have disappeared all over western Europe, the last intact bogs are in Ireland” 

The Saturday evening line-up will include:

  • Welcome from Mr. Sean Power, Mayor of Kildare and reception at the Bog of Allen Nature Centre.
  • All things Dutch and Irish from His Excellency Peter Kok, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ireland
  • Saving Irish Bogs: Our Story, Our Future from Dr Catherine O’Connell, Chief Executive Officer, Irish Peatland Conservation Council
  • “Peat Crossing Borderlines” from invited keynote speaker Prof Matthijs Schouten from the Dutch Foundation for Conservation of Irish Bogs
  • Bats, moths and Swifts Nature Demonstration with Anna Collins from Kildare Bat Group, Timothy Sullivan from Girley Bog Meitheal and Tom McCormack from Kildare BirdWatch.

The Peat Crossing Borderlines is a free event and is open to the public but booking is essential. Places on the Sunday Bog Tour (29th July) will be limited due to travel requirements so seats will be allocated on a first come first served basis. To learn more about the event or to book your place please contact: Katie Geraghy at or call 045 860133.

The Peat Crossing Borderlines event is supported by Kildare, Meath and Westmeath County Council and Creative Ireland as part of European Year for Cultural Heritage.


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