About the Raised Bog Restoration Project
Raised Bog Restoration Project Summary
Over the period 2004 – 2008 Coillte Teoranta has worked towards restoring 571.2 hectares of raised bog habitat on its property in the Midland counties.
This project is the largest single raised bog restoration project to have been undertaken in Ireland. By the end of this project, significant habitat restoration work will have been completed on over 5% of the national area of raised bog conserved in SAC’s – a significant contribution to conservation of the most valuable raised bog habitat in Europe .
Coillte acknowledges the funding received from the EU Life-Nature Programme. This project area forms part of Coillte’s nature conservation programme, and will be managed with nature conservation as the primary management objective into the future.
This project will serve as a hands-on demonstration of the best approaches to restoration of raised bog habitats.
Raised Bog Restoration Project Objectives
- To restore 571.2 ha of raised bog on 14 sites predominantly in the central plain of Ireland to a favourable conservation status.
- To extend the area of raised bog, so that the area free from the effects of afforestation is enlarged thereby increasing the likelihood of recolonisation with ANNEX 1 habitat type species.
- To demonstrate and interpret the techniques of bogland restoration on afforested sites, principally tree removal and drain blocking, to as wide as possible an audience but particularly the foresters who are managing these areas.
- To ameliorate the effects of turbary and reduce the hazard risk for adjoining landowners.
- To reduce the risk of fire damage to the project sites by implementing Coillte's Fire Plan and carrying out vegetation clearance on vulnerable high risk perimeter areas as necessary. Accordingly, the project sites will benefit from the protection of Coillte's existing fire control infrastructure.
- To increase current knowledge in the area of afforested bogland restoration through the dissemination of project results both nationally and throughout the European Union.
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Raised Bog Restoration Actions
- Fell 450 ha of plantation forest.
- Fell naturally regenerated exotic trees on open bog.
- After the area is felled and cleared,
- Block drains, in order to elevate water levels and restore the hydrological balance of the peatland areas. Perimeter protection of vulnerable raised bog sites against fire.
- Ongoing monitoring of vegetation and water levels on 14 sites.
Raised Bog Restoration Project Results
- During the period of the project there will be a significant improvement in the quality of the open bog areas.
- This will have been due to measures taken to gain control of areas and the re–establishing of natural water levels brought about by the removal of trees, drain blocking and clearance of invasive conifer regeneration.
- Over 570 hectares of raised bog has been improved using these measures. There has been a measurable increase in actively growing raised bog species.
- These improvements can be demonstrated using data from dipwells monitoring changes in water levels, and data from vegetation transects.
- The area of raised bog has been increased by almost 450 hectares through the removal of conifers. Maps and field inventory record this process.
- Natural water levels on the raised bog area cleared of trees and on the open bog area have been raised, resulting in an improvement in habitat quality.
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