Bord na Móna has rewetted 25,000ha (over 61,000ac) of Irish peatland to date, an area 19,600 times the size of Croke Park.

Some 5,200ha (12,800ac) was successfully restored in 2021 alone and in doing so, the company says it secured at least 7.5m tonnes of carbon last year.

The latest work is part of a €126m scheme which commenced in 2021 and aims to lower emissions and revive the carbon capture function of peatlands.

Some €108m of the scheme’s funding comes from Government and Europe and a further €18m has been invested by Bord na Móna itself.

The company announced what it described as the “record achievement” on World Wetlands Day on Tuesday.

Bogs affected

Peatland rehabilitation and associated operations at Bord na Móna employ over 300 people.

Many of these new roles have been taken up by people who were previously employed in the extraction and transport of peat-based fossil fuels.

Bord na Móna said its rehabilitation operations for 2021 were focused on 18 bogs with the “lion’s share” of these in counties Offaly and Galway.

Some 6,224ac of peatland was rehabilitated in Offaly, 3,862ac in Galway, 1,566ac in Longford, 875ac in Roscommon and 311ac in Kildare.


This growing area of restored peatland is “creating a rich mosaic” of biodiversity, which incorporates important carbon sinks and stores, according to a Bord na Móna spokesperson.

“These extensive areas of restored and rehabilitated bogs are increasing biodiversity and providing new habitats for thousands of native plant and animal species.”

The return of nesting cranes to a Bord na Móna peatland after 300 years has shown the rewetting initiative’s future potential, they said.

“Ecologists are confident that the rewetting and rehabilitation programme will deliver similar wins in the future.”

Climate wins

Bord na Móna chief executive Tom Donnellan said: “All our engineering, ecological and hydrological initiatives are aimed at harnessing the power of the peatlands to deliver major climate wins.

“Managed rewetting of these lands will secure over 100m tonnes of carbon in the ground, avoid significant emissions and are on track to capture millions more tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere in years to come.”

He described how on some of the peatland sites, there has been the opportunity to co-locate renewable energy and amenity infrastructure which he said ensures “another win for the climate by reducing Ireland’s dependence on imported and polluting fossil fuels”.

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