Press Release: 7th April 2015
Peat Free wildlife Gardens Receive GIY Get Ireland Growing Award
The Bog of Allen Nature Centre run by the Irish Peatland Conservation Council were delighted to be awarded funds to continue with the development of the peat free wildlife gardens at the centre from the Grow It Yourself Get Ireland Growing Fund in partnership with AIB. Over the past ten years the Bog of Allen Nature Centre has established peat free wildlife gardens in what was once a concrete yard. Annually peat is harvested from the wild peatlands of Ireland for use in the horticulture industry. The use of peat in our gardens is unsustainable and is a contributing factor to the loss of peatland habitats in Ireland. The wildlife gardens at the Bog of Allen Nature Centre showcase best practice in gardening where peat is avoided as a growing medium. Instead compost is produced from waste organic material from the gardens, rain water is harvested for watering plants during dry spells and chemicals are avoided to encourage natural predators such as frogs to the gardens.
If you would like to keep your garden peat free this summer choose to purchase peat free composts from your local garden centre or indeed start to compost in your own garden. Composting offers many benefits including helping to prevent odours and leaching from our landfill sites, it will save you money and also help protect a sample of Irish peatlands. The Irish Peatland Conservation Council have some top tips that can help you achieve a fantastic compost in your own garden. These include adding a blend of materials often referred to as greens and browns into your compost heaps. Green materials offer nitrogen to the compost heap and include grass cuttings, weeds and fruit and vegetable peelings. Composting these green materials alone will create an offensively smelly and wet mixture. To avoid this, blend your green materials with carbon based drier brown materials such as Autumn leaves, shredded paper and coffee grounds. Blended together these items will encourage natural decomposers such as soil bacteria and earthworms into your compost heap to turn your organic waste into compost. To help activate these decomposers ensure materials added to the compost heap are small, as the smaller the pieces the quicker the material will break down and where possible add oxygen to the heap by turning it.
The wildlife gardens at the Bog of Allen Nature will use the funds awarded from the GIY Get Ireland Growing fund this summer to stock vegetable beds. These vegetable beds alongside the wildflowers beds, arboretum and fruit plants showcase that your garden does not need peat this summer to thrive. If you want to experience for yourself and to learn more about peat free gardening why not visit the Bog of Allen Nature Centre which is open all year round Monday- Friday with special weekend openings during the Summer months. Alternatively to learn more about the Bog of Allen Nature Centre and its wildlife gardens visit www.ipcc.ie or you can contact the Irish Peatland Conservation Council on 045-860133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bog of Allen Nature Centre is run by the Irish Peatland Conservation Council a charity set up to protect a representative sample of Irish Peatlands for future generations to enjoy.
The Grow It Yourself Get Ireland Growing Award in partnership with Allied Irish Bank is a competitive project grant scheme that the Irish Peatland Conservation Council applied to for funds in 2015.
For further details, information, pictures or interviews, please telephone: 045-860133 and ask for Nuala Madigan, Environmental Education Officer or email email@example.com