Four peatland SACs in Co Donegal are selected for new Conservation Plans, drawn up in consultation and with participation of landowners, farmers and other stake-holders such as foresters, local and state authorities, turbary owners and turf-cutters, water utilities, tourism operators and so on.
CABB SACs Conservation Plans
Blanket bog conservation
Why conserve blanket bogs?
The CABB sites contain some of the best remaining expanses of lowland and upland active blanket bog, where notable, distinctive features are the mossy hummocks interspaced with wet hollows or Atlantic Bog Pools, Fens and flushes, Transition Mires and Quaking Bog, each hosting specialist flora and fauna that collectively makes up a treasure trove of Ireland’s ecology and biodiversity.
So what are the problems facing blanket bog conservation?
Financially supported EU and national policy was a past driver in the exploitation of bogs and peatlands for conifer afforestation, intensive sheep stocking and turf cutting. The race to profit from these opportunities caused wide-scale loss and degradation of bogs and mountain catchments.
What can be done to stop the loss of blanket bogs habitat?
Reformed EU policy has designated the Natura network of nature conservation sites. Conservation Plans will develop solutions to the problems of habitat and species loss, bog and mountain erosion, deterioration of water quality, and the consequential collapse of ecological systems that provide us with vital ecosystem services.
These plans will propose a package of steps, measures and actions aimed at accomplishing effective conservation and restoration of the EU Priority Habitat, Blanket Bog, as well as associated habitats and birds, especially Annex 1 or red-listed species including breeding Golden Plover, Dunlin, Red Grouse, and wintering Greenland-White-fronted Goose.
Four CABB sites for Conservation Plans
Each of the four SACs (Special Area of Conservation) has a range of blanket bog features and species that are unique or notable. Individual accounts are presented here on the planning of conservation measures, aimed at solving the range of problems at each site.