An IFA and Bord na Móna working group centred on the semi-state body’s plan to rewet thousands of acres of peatland held its first virtual meeting this week.
Over the next four years Bord na Móna plans to rewet 82 bogs as part of its Peatland Climate Action Scheme.
Speaking after a what was described as a positive first meeting, IFA deputy president Brian Rushe said he looked forward to working with Bord na Móna.
“The scale of the project is ambitious, and the timeline for implementation short, particularly in light of the current COVID-19 restrictions. This limits opportunities for local farmers and communities to engage with the process fully,” Rushe said.
At the meeting, Bord na Móna representatives gave a presentation on the scheme, which provided insight into the planning process, hydrological assessments, and the management of previous rehabilitation projects.
Rushe said while the detailed information was beneficial, many questions remained unanswered. He stressed that Bord na Móna must address significant concerns that farmers have.
Bord na Móna agreed to provide a written response to questions posed by farmers at a recent IFA bog rewetting meeting. It also committed to giving an overview of the hydrological assessment, including the procedures for estimating and predicting water on specific sites.
The working group will meet again in late-March to review the implementation of the scheme, with a focus on the 19 bogs where rehabilitation work is scheduled to begin in 2021.