Choose peat free as World Environment Day 2024 puts a global spotlight on land restoration

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Choose peat free as World Environment Day 2024 puts a global spotlight on land restoration


 World Environment Day is a United Nations international day held annually on 5th June to engage people in protecting our planet. This year’s theme includes land restoration, which is the process of stopping degradation or rehabilitating degraded land in order to support biodiversity, restore ecosystem services and help protect against impacts of climate change.

 In Ireland, peatlands once covered nearly a fifth of the land area, however about 80% of this has now been lost or degraded through drainage, peat extraction, forestry plantation, overgrazing, burning and erosion. Healthy peatlands provide ecosystem services such as carbon storage, water storage and purification and flood regulation. They provide a home for biodiversity including red-listed birds such as curlew and snipe and specialist species like the large heath butterfly and insect-eating sundews.

To mark World Environment Day, the Irish Peatland Conservation Council are encouraging you to take one action to halt peatland degradation by choosing peat free in your garden. Peat harvesting for use as a compost involves drainage, removal of the living surface vegetation and finally extraction of the peat layers. Peat free compost is now widely available in the retail sector or you can also make your own compost which will also help reduce waste going to landfill and save you money.

Untitled-design1-copy-1024x1024To support you to start composting the Irish Peatland Conservation Council are inviting you to the peat-free wildlife gardens at the Bog of Allen Nature Centre on Wednesday 5th June at 11am, 1pm and 3pm for a talk introducing you to home composting.   This event is part of Féile an Dúlra, IPCC’s annual festival of nature supported by Kildare County Council.

At the Bog of Allen Nature Centre garden, materials are composted annually with little effort other than having a designated storage area and allowing time for the soil bacteria and many invertebrates including worms, woodlice, slugs and snails to feed on the material breaking up the complex carbon chains.  This compost process results in a nutrient rich compost from what once was grass cuttings, autumn leaves, fruit peelings and various garden cuttings.

This World Environment Day choose peat free to support the restoration of peatlands so that they can function as water regulators, carbon stores and wildlife havens once again!

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