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Coolronan Bog Project. Presentation to Ballivor Renaissance Group and community 7 March 2012. Introduction. This project was setup in Nov 2011 by a group of 5 local people. With backing of local community and interested organisations, it is hoped to

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coolronan bog project

Coolronan Bog Project

Presentation to BallivorRenaissance Group and community

7 March 2012

introduction
Introduction
  • This project was setup in Nov 2011

by a group of 5 local people.

With backing of local community and

interested organisations, it is hoped to

commence a bog restoration project

which will target a number of objectives

objective summary
Objective Summary
  • To develop a small but specific section of Bord Na Mona managed section of Coolronan bog as an amenity for the locality and for visitors.
  • Create an area within the bog where native bog plants and wildlife can flourish
  • To develop the heritage aspect of Coolronan bog for the interest of current and former residents of the area, and for the wider community
  • Bring some employment and business opportunities to the locality
objective 1
Objective 1
  • To develop a small but specific section of Bord Na Mona managed section of Coolronan bog as an amenity for the locality and for visitors.
  • Coolronan Bog is a raised bog that comprises an area of 7,000 acres approx.

Bord Na Móna have ownership and control of 6,000 acres approx of this

amount.

  • The project group have commenced discussions with Bord Na Móna and other

organisations to section an area of 150 to 200 acres to allow be developed as

part of a bog restoration project .

  • It is planned to create walkway / cycleway , lake / wetlands and development

of Cutaway section to start a process to restore this part of the bog to its natural

state. One of the main attractions in this section is the ruin of a house which dates

back to famine times and which was lived in up to the 1950’s

  • Opportunities for the bog being a facility for school tours , nature trail walks ,

birdwatching etc

objective 2
Objective 2
  • Create an area within the bog where native bog plants and wildlife can flourish

Native plants : Peat Forming Sphagnum Mosses ,Bog Bean, Deer Antler

Lichen, Butterwort, Sundew, Bog Cotton,, Bell Heather,

Lichens, Cranberries, Bog Asphodel.

Native Animals: Fox, Hare, Deer, Bat

Native Amphibians: Otter, Common Frog, Lizard

Native Birds : Red Grouse, Corncrake, Curlew, Merlin , Lapwing, Hen Harrier,

Skylark, Meadow, Pipit

And many varieties of Invertebrates: Slugs, Spiders, Moths, and butterflies,

Dragonflies, Damselflies ,Beetles

objective 3
Objective 3
  • To develop the heritage aspect of Coolronan bog for the interest of current and former residents of the area, and for the wider community
  • The group is meeting with some elderly members of the community to recall their recollections of growing up in and around Coolronan bog and their stories will be captured on video and audio tape. These clips will be uploaded on the website.
  • These recollections are part of the history of the locality and are invaluable to understand living and working in the bog back in 1940’s and 1950’s.
objective 4
Objective 4
  • Bring some employment and business opportunities to the locality

If the project can proceed , there is an opportunitytosupport

existing businesses in the locality eg

  • Ground work contractors to develop the site .
  • Also once the site is established shops, hotels, pubs ,

minibus operators who would benefit by visitors to the area

activities to date
Activities To Date
  • Activities to date include
  • Project Group Meetings to discuss scope and objectives of project
  • Initial contact with Bord Na Mona
  • Create website www.mwmbogproject.wordpress.com
  • Creation of membership cards
other
Other
  • This project is not intruding on any privately owned parts

of Coolronan bog , only a section of Bord Na Mona bog as

previously outlined

Location of bog section proposed as per map next slide

planned activities
Planned Activities
  • Commission an independent Environmental Study / ecological report on the section of bog aquired.
  • Meet with Irish Peatland Conservation Council

to discuss options for bog restoration

This group is a voluntary body that have carried

out significant research already into the ecological

state of Irish bogs.

  • Review with local community and interested groups.
more planned activities
More Planned Activities
  • Inspect other raised bogs which are now amenity centres in counties Kildare, Laois, Offaly
  • Further correspondence with BNM
  • Meet RTE environmentalist, ÉannaNíLamhna and discuss our options with her for promoting Biodiversity in Coolronanbog
  • Meet with Dept of Heritage representatives ; 2012 is special famine year
examples of bog restoration project
Examples of Bog Restoration project
  • In Abbeyleix Bog in 2009 , BNM worked with local community to restore water levels to promote peat forming vegetation

In Abbeyleix, BNM worked with IPCC (Irish Peatland Conservation council) , IPWS (Irish Parks and Wildlife service) and Laois Heritage on this project. A lease agreement has been put in place with the local community that passes responsibility to local community to manage the bog there.

This is the type of joint initiative that the Coolronan Bog Project has in mind to promote and sustain the bog.

functions of a bog
Functions of a bog

In addition to being a fuel source , bogs have other important functions

  • filtering water
  • acting as a water collection basin,
  • accumulating carbon
  • providing habitat for flora and fauna.
general principles for bog restoration
General Principles for Bog Restoration
  • Identifying bogs for preservation through environmental assessment;
  • Using careful harvesting techniques so that restoration can

be readily achieved

  • Leaving at least three feet of peat at the bottom of the bog
  • Returning of harvested bogs to functioning wetlands
bog restoration practical steps
Bog Restoration Practical Steps
  • Surface Preparation
  • Plant Collection from donor site
  • Plant Spreading
  • Straw spreading
  • Fertilization
  • Raise water level
a view from canada
A view from Canada
  • There are good examples of harvested bogs in Canada where more than one foot of sphagnum moss has re-grown, unaided, during the 10 to 15 years since harvesting has ceased. These bogs look like and provide the functions of virgin bogs.
  • Even though Canada does not have peat supply concerns, the industry is looking for ways to accelerate peat bog regeneration. Until recently, peat bogs have been left to regenerate, a process that can take up to 20 years. New research in ways to restore bogs quickly, indicates that time can be shortened to five to eight years.
bogs as carbon stores
Bogs as Carbon Stores
  • A bog is the biggest natural store of carbon.

Peat is rich in fossil carbon, removed from the atmosphere by

plants and accumulated over thousands of years.

Drainage and destruction of raised bogs results in the rapid

loss of the stored carbon in the form of greenhouse gases

(carbon dioxide and methane), as the peat decomposes.

  • Kyoto agreement imposes regulations and financial penalties on countries who ignore impact on the environment
effects of carbon emission
Effects of Carbon emission
  • Once a peat bog dries out, it starts emitting carbon by giving off carbon dioxide gas (CO2) and methane into the atmosphere, and by releasing it into rivers and streams in the form of dissolved organic carbon (DOC).
  • Bogs hold staggering amounts of carbon - estimated at 455 petagrams, around a third of the world\'s stock of soil organic carbon. (1 Petagram = 1 Billion Metric Tonnes)
  • If bogs lose more carbon as DOC, this could have serious effects on drinking water supplies. As well as turning water brown, dissolved carbon can interfere with treatment filters and make it more expensive to make water safe to drink.
  • And if peat bogs become badly degraded, there could also be implications for the risk of flooding.
flora and fauna
Flora and Fauna

Bees

Wetlands

amenity activities
Amenity Activities

Bird Watching

Bog Tours

Nature Trails

Raised walkways

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