Bord na Móna Biodiversity Action Plan review day 2014

Bord na Móna held it’s annual review day for the Biodiversity Action Plan 2010-2015 on February 2nd in Athlone and Ballydangan bog this year.

On Febuary 2nd over 120 ecologists, academics, Bord na Móna staff, community representatives, EPA staff and nature conservation champions came together for the latest review of the Bord na Móna Biodiversity Action Plan 2010-2015. The review was held in Roscommon – with a morning seminar session and an afternoon field trip based on the work that the Ecology Team has focused on in the past year.

The key achievements for 2014, the year in review, were the completion of 1,000ha of raised bog restoration on Bord na Móna bogs (areas surplus to peat requirements), a number of large scale rehabilitation projects in Mountdillon and Derrygreenagh, and the launch of a new project with BirdWatch Ireland to survey breeding Curlew on our lands. At this time we have recorded up to 10 breeding sites for Curlew – a rare and threatened species in Ireland. These sites could represent up to 13% of the national breeding population and are therefore of national significance.

Gerry Ryan, Company Secretary, launched the event and this was followed by presentations from the Ecology Team members Catherine Farrell, David Fallon and Mark McCorry, and invited speakers Francis Mackin (RPS Engineering), Anita Donaghy (Birdwatch Ireland) and Declan Little (Woodlands of Ireland).

Francis outlined the complexities of raised bog hydrology which was a fitting introduction, as the afternoon fieldtrip was a visit to the recently restored Ballydangan Bog Red Grouse project. Anita presented information on the dramtic decline of breeding Curlew in Ireland and Declan described how the values of wetlands and bogs should and will have to be documented in our national accounting systems.

Over 80 of the attendees participated in the afternoon field trip, a visit to Ballydangan Bog. The Bord na Móna Ecology team and the Ballydangan Red Grouse project team led the tour.

Bord na Móna would like to thank all those who attended and participated on the day. All of the presentations and a leaflet made by Bord na Móna on the bog restoration project are available here.