€130,000 funding approved for raised bog conservation

Just under €131,000 in funding has been approved for “a variety of projects” focused on the conservation and revitalisation of raised bogs, as announced by Josepha Madigan, the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

The funding will be directed to 13 local community groups and organisations, and will be used on bogs that are included in Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Natural Heritage Areas and some other areas.

Announcing the funding today, Friday, July 19, Minister Madigan said that she was “delighted to see the diverse range of initiatives put forward by these active community groups and environmental organisations under the Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme in 2019”.

Among the projects set to receive funding are:

  • Walking trails and looped walks around bogs;
  • Education programmes and activities for primary and secondary school students;
  • Photographic exhibitions;
  • Talks and workshops on all aspects associated with raised bogs and their restoration;
  • Visitor facilitation in local community buildings;
  • Local area amenity development in raised bog areas.

The minister also praised the work that has been done on a voluntary basis by local community groups in nature conservation.

“The sense of community spirit is strong in rural Ireland today and the funding awarded this year under the scheme will in part recognise the efforts by local communities in continuing to champion the conservation benefits of our unique raised bogs while recognising the traditions of our past,” she concluded.

SAC compensation

In other news concerning the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, farmers and landowners whose lands were designated under SAC are close to reaching a compensation deal with the department.

AgriLand understands that discussions – which have being taking place for the last 18 months – between Minister Madigan and the farm bodies in an effort to find a resolution on the matter, have started to produce some positive results.

At this stage, it is anticipated that a funding allocation in relation to this issue will be announced in the upcoming budget.