Using our Peat Bogs Mr Boland Geography
The harvesting of peat is an extractive industry. • An extractive industryis one that removes non-renewable resources from the earth. Others?? Mining Farming Fishing Quarrying Oil-Drilling
Peat is a soil that is made up of partially rotted remains of dead plants which have accumulated on top of each other in waterlogged places for thousands of years. • It consists of moss along with roots, leaves, flowers and grasses. Occasionally the trunks and roots of trees are also present. • Areas where peat accumulates are called "peatlands" or "bogs". What is peat?
About 5% of Ireland consists of Peat Bogs. • Exploitation of the bogs’ resources was initially slow but with advances in technology it has become commercialised and thus the process has speeded up. • Bord na Móna (founded 1946) is Irelands Government run peat company. Peat Bogs
There are three types of Peatland in Ireland: • Raised Bogs • Blanket Bogs • Fens or Flat Bogs. Types of Bogs
Fen or Flat Bog • Raised Bog • Blanket Bog
They consist of a carpet of peat extending over large areas of land. Their nutrient supply is obtained from rainfall. • They are quite shallow (1.5 metres approx) in comparison to the ‘raised’ bogs. • They are found mainly on mountain slopes and lowland areas of heavy rainfall, especially in the West of Ireland. Blanket Bogs
Are dome-shaped bogs which have developed in former lake basins in midland counties. Their nutrient supply is obtained from rainfall. • Since they are ‘raised’ they are quite deep (about 8 metres approx.) and contain large quantities of turf. • They are found mainly in flat or gently-sloping land in the Midlands. Raised Bogs
Exploiting the Bogs In the past hand tools like the slean were used to harvest the bogs. With modern technology it has become increasingly easy to exploit the bogs. The four steps involved in getting turf are 1. Preparation 2. Harvesting 3. Transportation 4. Marketing
What does each machine do? Can you think of a name for each???
Ditcher • Miller • Grader • Harrow • Ridger • Gather the loose and dried peat into ridges. • Harvests the peat by scraping loose a thin layer of bog. • Used to dry out the loose peat on the surface. • Used to dig drains on the bog. • Used to level the bog Match the word with the correct statement
Ditcher- Used to dig drains on the bog. • Miller- Harvests the peat by scraping loose a thin layer of bog. • Grader-Used to level the bog • Harrow-Used to dry out the loose peat on the surface. • Ridger- Gather the loose and dried peat into ridges Match the word with the correct statement
Preparing the bogs. Because bogs have a 95% water content draining bogs is vital. In the past where many bogs were idle, now due to a modern machine called a “ditcher” bogs are harvested. After three years the land becomes hard and firm enough for the next stage of preparation.
A ditcher is a wide tracker machine that does not sink on the soft bog and digs drains to allow water drain off the land.
Preparation Graders are heavy machines that can now drive on the ground. Graders are used to level the bog and create a flat even surface. Heavy tractors are then used to lay down railway tracks which are used for transport.
Harvesting Where a slean was once used to cut peat, now a miller scrapes peat from the surface tears it into pieces. As this is left to dry a harrow turns over the sods to speed up the process. A ridger gathers the peat into ridges.
Transporting Special turf trains are used to carry large quantities to electric power stations
Marketing Peat is used to generate electricity. Peat is also used to make peat-briquettes. Light peat is used as moss peat and used as a soil conditioner. Sod peat is also used as household fuel.
Marketing What can peat be used for???
Technology has meant we can expolit more bog and quicker resulting in most of our larger peatlands being used up. • Should we use up the rest of our bog as in the Netherlands?? OR • Would it be better to preserve what is left of the boglands?? The Debate
Provide electricity and reduces coal and oil imported. • Exported moss peat is good for the economy. • Bord na mona employs 2000 people. • Coniferous trees are planted on stripped bogs. • Destroys rare plants and animals. • Bogs hold items of spectacular Irish Archaeology. • Majority of Europe’s bogs are exploited and ruined. • Bogs should be considered a World Heritage Site to be cherished. Exploiting Bogs VS Preserving Bogs