Raised bogs are valuable wetland habitats that are becoming increasingly rare in Ireland. Raised bogs once formed extensive wetlands over much of the central lowlands of Ireland.
During the 20th century, most of Ireland’s raised bogs were lost to commercial extraction of peat for fuel and horticultural peat. In further efforts to convert the raised bogs to more productive landuse, a proportion of them were also converted to plantation forestry. As a result, only a fraction of the former area of raised bog habitat remains today.
Despite their reduced size, the Irish Midland raised bogs still retain an air of wilderness. They provide excellent habitat for a range of mammals (e.g. the Irish hare and the otter) and birds (e.g. red grouse and snipe). There is a growing realisation that Ireland’s raised bog ecosystems are unique and irreplaceable.
Coillte is working with the EU LIFE Nature programme and with NPWS to restore ecologically valuable raised bogs that were converted to plantation forests in the past.
For more information, go to Coillte’s raised bog restoration website