Bord na Móna will strive to ensure that the decommissioning and rehabilitation works will have minimal impacts on local land-owners and communities and there will be full engagement with all stakeholders throughout this process. The following are a list of frequently asked questions.
The reduction in peat extraction on Bord na Móna bogs is in line with Bord na Móna’s strategy to focus primarily on renewable energy and resource recovery markets with a key objective of reducing the carbon intensity of all products. Our Brown to Green strategy delivers on national and EU decarbonisation policies and this has driven significant reduction in peat milling volumes in recent years, and cessation of peat production in 2020.
This is removing plant/equipment/materials/infrastructure from the bog.
Material removed from the bog will be either reused elsewhere or recycled/disposed off through a licenced waste contractor and removed from site.
The general objective of peatland rehabilitation is to ensure environmental stabilisation of the former industrial peat production areas. Blocking the internal drainage system thereby stopping the drainage and associated drying of the bog, encourages natural vegetation to develop. Blocking internal drains slows water movements and re-wets the peat. This will create soggy peatland conditions that will be naturally colonised by plants and animals and will allow compatible peatland habitats to re-develop.
There will be benefits to biodiversity, water quality and carbon storage and future sequestration.
This keeps carbon in the ground and accelerates the trajectory towards naturally functioning peatland ecosystems. This will optimise climate action benefits (reducing carbon emissions significantly).
Much of the cutaway cannot be restored to raised bog in the short-term as so much peat has been removed and the environment has changed so radically. Other habitats will develop in these cutaway areas (wetlands, fen and Birch woodland). Sites with deeper residual peat do have the capacity to develop embryonic Sphagnum-rich vegetation and develop on a faster trajectory towards becoming a carbon sink again. Some sites that were drained but were never significantly developed, can be restored to raised bogs.
Other habitats will develop that will reflect the underlying environment with Birch woodland, scrub, heath, grassland, fen and wetland. Different bogs have different starting points. The key environmental factors that influence the development of habitats are topography, hydrology and residual peat depth. Some parts of the cutaway cannot be re-wetted successfully and will be naturally dry.
Generally, these drains will not be altered. Where blocking of a shared drain causes an adjoining land to flood, this will be avoided. It is anticipated that drain blocking will not have any impact on adjacent lands.
If you own a turbury and have a right to cut turf, there will be no change to that right, or access to that turf bank.
Bord na Móna will continue to own the bog and will continue to manage all of its land owner obligations and continue to liaise with local communities.
This will vary depending on the size of the bogs, remaining peat stock and the planned measures, but the work will occur during suitable weather conditions. The overall scheme will run for four and a half years.
The Environmental Protection Agency and National Parks and Wildlife Services will verify the work upon completion.
This Scheme will focus on creating stable diverse environments that will enable potential amenity in the future. While this scheme does not include for amenity facilities, there are lots of plans nationally to create walkways/trackways and Bord Na Móna will consider all such plans/projects where they may link or include a Bord Na Móna bog. In general, amenity development can be integrated with peatland rehabilitation.
Once the bog has been rewetted, it may be unsafe to access parts of the bog due to blocked drains/wet boggy conditions, but suitable signage will warn of any hazards and there will be managed access at selected location. Bord na Móna bogs are still considered industrial sites and there is no public access. In time, safe access can be provided where public amenities are being developed.
We continually consult with all national and local regulators, local interest/community groups, and groups who have engaged with us in the past. We are happy to engage with everybody and will strive to resolve all issues, where possible.