News 2022

Title:  Minister Visits Peatland Restoration Project in Wicklow
Date:  28/07/2022

Minister Visits Peatland Restoration Project in Wicklow

Protecting and restoring Ireland’s peatlands is one of the most effective ways to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions.

Today, Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD, visited Wicklow Mountains National Park to see a trial bog restoration project between Barnacullian and Stoney Top.

The project has been driven by Conservation Ranger Hugh McLindon, supported by his colleagues within the National Parks & Wildlife Service and working in collaboration with SUAS (Sustainable Upland Agri-environmental Scheme). Volunteers from Mountaineering Ireland and Rewild Wicklow have also assisted with the work.

The Minister saw how gullies in the peat have been blocked with wooden dams to slow the flow of water across the site. The group also got to see fenced plots where heather brash and grass seed have been spread to protect bare peat from the elements and to promote the growth of vegetation. Walkers are asked to support the restoration work by walking around the fenced plots, rather than crossing the fences.

The event provided an opportunity to discuss a range of topics, including the pressure on habitats in the Wicklow Mountains from grazing by deer and sheep, the potential for farmers to be paid for peatland restoration work, and the key role of sphagnum mosses in carbon capture.

Mountaineering Ireland was represented by Access and Conservation Officer, Helen Lawless, and ecologist Alan Lauder, the new Chair of Mountaineering Ireland’s Access & Conservation Committee.

The success of the trial plots in the Barnacullian area will be monitored and resources will be sought to scale up restoration work and tackle more degraded sites.

 

Photo: Ecologist Alan Lauder, the new Chair of Mountaineering Ireland’s Access & Conservation Committee, explaining the poor condition of Wicklow’s blanket bog to Minister Malcolm Noonan TD.

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