Peatland Habitat Restoration
Over the last ten years Coillte has been a committed player in the important area of habitat restoration. Our aim here has been to improve the quality of specific targeted habitats on our estate. We are involved in a number of important EU Life funded restoration projects on our boglands and in our forests and have built up considerable capabilities in restoration and restoration ecology.
Raised bogs and blanket bogs are priority habitats not only for Coillte but are also designated as such at a national level and indeed by EU law.
Raised Bog Restoration
The peatlands of the Irish midlands are among the most important raised bog systems and it is estimated that Ireland contains 50% of the intact oceanic raised bog systems remaining in Europe. In 2004, Coillte began an EU LIFE - Nature Programme to actively restore 571 hectares of raised bog on 14 midland sites in counties Galway, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Cavan and Laois. All 14 sites are designated as candidate Special Areas of Conservation (cSACs) under the EU Habitats Directive and provide habitat for a range of nationally important rare plant and animal species.
We recently completed our third bog restoration project in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service at 17 sites across the midlands and mid-west.
Learn more about the most recent Raised Bog Restoration Project
Blanket Bog Restoration
Blanket bogs cover much of the lowlands and uplands of the west of Ireland and Atlantic blanket bog is internationally recognised as a unique and valuable habitat for nature conservation. Blanket bogs are extremely diverse and contain a variety of habitats including flushed fens, swallow holes, pools, lakes, hummocks and ridges that gives a home to a great diversity of plant and animal species.
In 2007 we completed our five-year EU LIFE-NATURE Blanket Bog restoration project. Over the course of the project we used various restoration techniques such as tree removal, felling of trees to waste and blocking drains to re-wet previously drained areas. This project which was originally scheduled for completion by the end of 2006, with a target of restoring 1,212 hectares but was extended beyond that period. After approval from the European Commission to restore up to a further 776 hectares of blanket bog habitat, the project was extended into 2007 and resulted in almost 2,000 hectares of blanket bog being restored.
As well as the operational work, the project included public awareness programmes consisting of information days, distribution of project brochures and the publication of a project results booklet.
The project website may be found here, Irish Bog Restoration Project
Woodland Habitat Restoration
At the end of 2005, Coillte began work on the EU LIFE-Nature Programme for the restoration and conservation of over 550 hectares of priority native woodland habitats in the west and midlands
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