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Biodiversity Objectives

2016-2021 Biodiversity Action Plan Objectives

Partridge 3The Biodiversity Action Plan 2016-2021 is viewed as an important step in setting out the work that has been completed to date within the Bord na Móna bogs, the lessons that have been learned already in terms of practical management and successes relating to biodiversity enhancement, and how we will proceed to plan the future of biodiversity within the Bord na Móna bogs. The objectives of the 2016-2021 plan are outlined below:

 

Objective 1: Carry Out All Works in line with Best Practice Guidelines and Relevant Legislation across all Bord na Móna Bogs

This objective underpins all of the other objectives outlined in the Bord na Móna Biodiversity Action Plan. Bord na Móna is a diverse company. In relation to the environment there are a number of legislative regulatory mechanisms that Bord na Móna adheres to. The primary regulation mechanism relating to the environment and in particular peat harvesting activities is Integrated Pollution Control Licensing. IPC licensing is granted, implemented and monitored for compliance by the EPA.

Objective 2: Monitor Biodiversity Areas and Identify and Survey Further Biodiversity Hotspots within Bord na Móna Bogs

Bord na Móna is a major landowner in Ireland, with a significant area of peatland making up the most of the 80,000 ha in its stewardship. Understanding the ecological status of those peatland areas is critical to informing how these lands can be rehabilitated into the future. The work of the Ecology Team on the baseline has become an essential tool in managing the Bord na Móna Bogs and will be maintained and updated as part of ongoing operations.

 

Objective 3: Develop and Promote Best Practice in Terms of Rehabilitation Plans for all Bord na Móna Bogs to Stabilise Former Peat Production Areas and Enhance Biodiversity

Rosebay WillowherbAlmost all peatlands in Ireland have been modified to some degree and require some level of management to prevent further degradation and/or improve and enhance their condition. There is a growing recognition that investment in restoration and rehabilitation of peatlands can have enormous benefits for society both in terms of social and natural capital. Bord na Móna is working to develop and implement best practice measures in terms of rehabilitation and restoration.

Objective 4: Raise Awareness and Create a Greater Appreciation of the Biodiversity and Natural Heritage of Bord na Móna Cutaway Bogs and Associated Lands

A considerable part of the Bord na Móna Biodiversity Action Plan 2010-2015 focussed on communication and creating awareness of the value of biodiversity, and the benefits of rehabilitation and restoration of the Bord na Móna bogs. This work will continue under the next planning phase and ranges from local to international levels.

Objective 5: Monitor the Progress of the Bord na Móna Biodiversity Action Plan 2016-2021

Annual review days are one of the key measures used to outline the work completed by the Ecology Team in any given year, and also present an opportunity for interested parties to comment. From humble beginnings in the Tullamore Court Hotel at the launch of the plan by the late Éamon de Buitléar (1930-2013) in November 2010, the annual review days now attract academics, scientists, planners, practitioners, consultant ecologists, local community members and Bord na Móna employees from a range of interests.

 

2010-2015 Biodiversity Action Plan Achievements

Some achievements under the 2010-2015 Action Plan include:

  • Development of a comprehensive habitat classification system for the Bord na Móna bogs to account for the variability in cutaway habitats (pioneer to complex habitats) as outlined above
  • Habitat mapping for Bord na Móna bogs – this includes a general ecology report for each site in conjunction with a species list and mapping. A detailed habitat survey of the Mayo bogs has also been completed as part of a long term monitoring of the site
  • Development of predictive habitat maps to indicate the potential extent of wetland, woodland, and grassland habitats in cutaway areas post peat production and rehabilitation phases
  • Identification of active raised bog habitat areas and an ongoing programme of raised bog restoration in sites that show potential for restoration. This work will add to that area of active raised bog required under EU Natura 2000 obligations
  • Identification and survey of important focal points for wintering and breeding birds, particularly those of conservation interest such as Whooper Swan, Red Grouse, Lapwing, Curlew and Hen Harrier