Press Release: 8th November 2018
Ireland’s last real wilderness, our Raised Bogs, are being destroyed along with all the native wildlife that they support through our demand for moss peat and sod moss gardening products.
The Irish Peatland Conservation Council are calling for a complete ban on the industrial extraction of moss peat and sod moss peat for the horticultural market.
These peat products have caused mass environmental disasters within the Irish landscape. This has been possible as regulation of the industry is patchy – with some companies controlled through license and others escaping regulation. Sod moss peat mined by peat producers is sold as a loss leader, below market value to entice buyers to more profitable peat products. The open mines developed on raised bogs are leaking carbon into the atmosphere and the environment.
Ireland’s Raised Bogs are so damaged that less than 1% of them are sequestering carbon, even though peatlands are recognized as one of the most important land-based carbon sinks globally.
This is an unsustainable practice. If we are to de-carbonise our economy we need to do more than stop production of milled peat for electricity power generation. Horticultural industrial activity must be brought to a halt as well. A recent report by the EPA (see note 1) shows that our peatlands are not climate-change proofed, that is, the drier summers and wetter winters will hinder the growth and stabilization of peatlands. “It is imperative that we stop allowing these companies to destroy our natural heritage and put additional resources into restoration”, says IPCC’s Conservation Policy Officer.
IPCC is raising public awareness about this issue and encouraging people to make their own compost from garden waste in order to reduce the demand for horticultural peat. Raising the Bar for Peat and Biodiversity is supported by the Irish Environmental Network and Patagonia/Tides Foundation.
Tristram Whyte, Conservation Policy Officer
Bog of Allen Nature Centre, Lullymore, Rathangan, Co. Kildare
Tel: 045 860133
 Vulnerability Assesment of Peatlands: Exploration of impacts and adaptation options in relation to climate change and extreme events. (VAPOR) EPA Research Report 250