Sisk teams up with Mayo farmer and GRI to rewet 20-hectare bog

Lackaduff project aims to permanently lock at least 36,000 tonnes of carbon into bog

Raised bogs create a habitat for rare species because they are such a rich source of flora. Photograph: iStock

Raised bogs create a habitat for rare species because they are such a rich source of flora. Photograph: iStock

 

Construction firm Sisk has teamed up with a Co Mayo farmer and Green Restoration Ireland to rewet a 20-hectare bog at Lackaduff, Doocastle, near the Mayo-Roscommon border.

Rewetting bogs involves blocking drains to restore the water levels within peatland so that plants can grow and animal habitats in the bog and downstream rivers would be improved.

It also locks in carbon and C02 emissions and the Lackaduff bog project aims to permanently lock at least 36,000 tonnes of carbon into the bog, and avoid up to 30 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

The bog and others in the area feed into a tributary of the Owengarve, part of the Moy river.

Rare wildlife in east Mayo is also expected to benefit as a result of the bog rewetting including the red-listed bird species of skylark, meadow pipit, snipe, curlew as well as the Irish hare.

Raised bogs create a habitat for rare species because they are such a rich source of flora.

Natural emissions of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in Lackaduff currently range from 1.4 to 2.14 tonnes per year. The aim is to reduce this by 90 per cent.

Of the 20 hectares of raised bog at Lackaduff, some 8.24 hectares is impacted by drainage ditches and an estimated 11km of drains are to be blocked for the full restoration works to be completed.

Tommy McGovern, the Lackaduff farmer involved, said the scheme was “a means to help with carbon capture and emissions”.

The future , he said , would be to “make the bogs work to fix the climate crisis and, with help from the likes of GRI and Sisk, we will”.

Green Restoration Ireland will scientifically monitor the Lackaduff project, the results of which could inform further projects to address emissions from agriculturally managed peatlands – particularly in the midlands .

The organisation, founded in 2019, also hopes to use its projects to raise public awareness around the ecological importance of peatland ecosystems.

Ireland has 50 per cent of the raised bogs in the EU and the hope is they could become a significant carbon store, reducing the State’s overall carbon emissions.

The Irish Farmers’ Association has said it wants to see carbon credits generated by such schemes – as well as forestry – being owned by farmers themselves. IFA president Tim Cullinan warned last month that “the State will not steal our carbon credits”.