Funding of €200,000 for projects enhancing boglands now available

Peatlands scheme aims to encourage local groups to improve bogs in their areas

A boardwalk at Abbeyleix Bog, Co Laois. File photograph: Bord na Mona

A boardwalk at Abbeyleix Bog, Co Laois. File photograph: Bord na Mona

 

Community groups wishing to enhance boglands in their local area will be able to benefit from a new scheme to support their efforts.

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan has invited applications for the Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme, which will support efforts to “re-imagine raised bogs”, such as providing walking trails or initiating conservation projects.

There is a budget of up to €200,000 available to support the projects this year and the total value of funding available for each individual project will not exceed 75 per cent of the total project cost.

The scheme aims to encourage local communities, groups, schools and interested parties to engage with the department on the conservation of raised bogs including Special Areas of Conservation and Natural Heritage Areas – while promoting “public engagement and awareness of our natural heritage”.

The scheme will support a diverse range of initiatives ,” Ms Madigan said. It follows a successful pilot phase last year in which 14 community groups were supported.

Kilteevan Tidy Towns Committee received funding of €17,000 to develop a walking trail around Kilteevan bog in Co Roscommon and for the installation of signage and bat boxes.

Its chairwoman Eileen Fahey said: “The funding was of enormous benefit to our community and peatlands area. There is a major increase in the number of people walking the area and it has increased awareness around biodiversity on our boglands. We were very lucky to have had the support and guidance of the National Parks and Wildlife Service staff.”

Further details at www.npws.ie