How Ireland’s bogs can help stop Climate Change – and you can get involved

Published by Ian Carey on

June 10th 2016

It’s a sad fact but much of Ireland’s bogs are contributing to Climate Change.

Bogs that have been drained for cutting and are left exposed are leaking CO2 into the atmosphere.

The good news is that when a bog is restored it becomes a carbon sink and takes in CO2 and stores it as the bog grows.

This means that Ireland’s peatlands must be rewetted and restored just to prevent them further contributing to Climate Change.

On Sunday June 19th, volunteers will join members of the An Taisce and the Irish Peatland Conservation Council (IPCC) to restore a bog in County Meath.

The project has received funding from the Patagonia Environmental Grants.

Organiser Alannah Ní Cheallaigh-Mhuirí explains:

“Many of us now recognise the urgent need to mitigate dangerous climate change but it can be difficult for people to know what they can do in the face of a challenge on this scale. The good news is that there is now substantial evidence  that rewetting drained bogs prevents further CO2 leakage and in time can return the bog to being a carbon sink.

“It is undeniable that communities around Ireland have important historical and cultural relationships with the bogs, so I believe that communities deserve to be at the forefront in the evolution of bog management.”

On Sunday the 19th of June, the conservation day will take place and members of the public are encouraged to take part. Entitled ‘Keep it in the Bog’  the project will take place at Girley Bog near Kells, County Meath.

Volunteers will meet in Kells at 1.15pm and get a free bus together to restore part of the bog. The aim is to significantly contribute to restoring the high water table natural to Girley Bog; to prevent further CO2 emissions from the area and encourage Girley Bog to become an active carbon sink again.

Children from the local school, St. Brigid’s National School, Cortown, will be doing ecological surveys on the bog before and after the action so that we can see the change that our restoration has made.

Everyone is invited to participate in this fun, community afternoon, to bring picnics or enjoy the light refreshments provided and to take part in climate action in your local area.

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Ian Carey

Ian is the editor of the Green News. He works as Communications Manger with the Irish Environmental Network.