A total of €160,000 in grant funding has been allocated to 16 community peatland conservation projects under the Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme, Minister of State in the Department of Housing Malcolm Noonan has announced.

The scheme is managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and seeks to support volunteer-led peatland conservation and restoration.

“Communities are at the heart of nature restoration and this is particularly the case with our bogs,” said Minister Noonan when announcing the groups successful in the applications for funding.

“Time and time again, we have seen groups of volunteers leading with passion and impact to restore, rehabilitate and share the wonder of these amazing habitats.

“That’s why schemes such as this one are so important, in that they allow the local custodians of our natural heritage to continue their work and to grow it,” he said.

Projects funded

The Leenane Development Association in Co Mayo was granted €1,500 to install an information board which will detail environmentally-friendly upland farming practices, including rhododendron control, as well as general conservation information for the public to read.

The River Blackwater Catchment Trust received €7,500 to aid the removal of 60ha of self-seeding conifers and invasive species.

Other projects granted funds under the initiative include peatland recreational facilities, conservation education programmes and community awareness initiatives.

The 16 projects awarded funding under the initiative were:

  • Cloghan Development Association, Co Offaly - €14,030.
  • Parke and Crimlin Area Development Association, Co Mayo - €2,000.
  • Galway Telework Co-operation, Co Galway - €15,000.
  • St Kilians Heritage Trust, Co Cavan - €23,798.
  • Milltownpass Tidy Towns Committee, Co Westmeath - €16,105.
  • RE-PEAT, Amsterdam, Ireland, Denmark - €20,550.
  • South Kerry Development Partnership, Co Kerry - €3,860.
  • Friends of Ardee Bog, Co Louth - €16,100.
  • National Association of Regional Game Councils, Co Laois - €15,000.
  • Knocknagoshel Tidy towns Committee, Co Kerry - €2,600.
  • Leenane Development Association, Co Galway - €1,500.
  • Clara Heritage Society, Co Offaly - €2,280.
  • River Blackwater Catchment Trust, Co Monaghan - €7,500.
  • Kiltimagh Amenity Park, Co Mayo - €10,000.