Students of the BSc in Planning and Environmental Management programme recently visited a peatland conservation project with their lecturer, Dr Melinda Lyons, at Lodge Bog in County Kildare as part of a module about Environmental Science.
This bog had formerly been drained to extract peat for commercial purposes, but restoration work undertaken by the Irish Peatland Conservation Council has reversed much of the damage. Blocking drains helped to restore the water table in the bog and has resulted in a rich and varied flora and fauna, once widespread in the Irish midlands, but now confined to small remnants.
Raised bogs which are actively peat-forming are designated a priority habitat type under the EU Habitats Directive, because of their vulnerability to loss and degradation. In addition to their importance for wildlife, active peatlands capture carbon dioxide and thus mitigate against climate change.
With thanks to the Irish Peatland Conservation Council.
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