Maintaining and sustaining biodiversity, through managing nature conservation areas and allowing space for habitats and species to establish on the Bord na Móna bogs, will allow us to reap the benefits in terms of essential ecosystem services on a national level while also demonstrating environmental responsibility on a global level.

We have created a Biodiversity Action Plan for the years 2010 to 2015. This plan sets out a number of objectives which will allow us to carry out our work to the highest standard, and ensure that we get the best results. You can download the biodiversity action plan here “In terms of rehabilitation and environmental stabilisation of the cutaway bogs, natural colonisation is viewed as the most sustainable option.” “The most documented is the Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix) project at Lough Boora, where the numbers of birds have increased from 26 to 436 through a successful and intensive management programme undertaken by the National Parks and Wildlife Services with assistance from Bord na Móna over the last ten years.”

Blackwater CF

Carbon Restore and Reedflux Project

Peatlands can act as sources of atmospheric carbon or they can act to capture carbon depending on their condition. Drainage of peatlands and peat and turf production cause the release of carbon. Where peatlands are waterlogged and peat-forming conditions restored, former drained peatlands can revert to carbon sinks.A research study commenced in 2008 funded by Bord na Móna. The study involves measuring the carbon emissions from an area of rehabilitated cutaway bog at Bellacorick. Measurements to date indicate that the rehabilitated former peat production bog may be reverting to a carbon sink, and that peat formation processes have been restored. It is uncertain as to the extent whereby these conditions can be created across the Midlands cutaway bogs, if at all. The carbon data generated from the rehabilitated bogs in Mayo, along with other carbon studies ongoing on Irish peatlands will provide vital information in determining whether conditions will allow the creation of carbon sinks on Bord na Móna bogs into the future.

A new study has been established in 2011 on Blackwater Bog in West Offaly. This study will measure the GHG fluxes from an area of reedbed that has naturally regenerated on an area of cutaway bog. The information may also feed into management options and decisions in relation to what habitats are developed on any site, for example is rewetting cutaway bogs better in terms of carbon sequestration than poor fen or woodland development?Or does rewetting lead to high emissions of methane? Will these methane emissions reduce over time? These questions remain unanswered to date.