Some €600,000 in funding for community-led projects under the Peatlands and Natura Community Engagement Scheme 2024 has been announced by Minister of State for nature Malcolm Noonan.

Successful applicants will be awarded funding to support a maximum of 80% of the project's eligible costs.

Grants of up to €40,000 are available for Natura 2000-designated sites and grants of up to €20,000 are available for non-natura peatland sites.


Established in 2018, the Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme provides funding to support the conservation and revitalisation of raised bog and blanket bog special areas of conservation (SACs), natural heritage areas (NHAs) and other peatland areas.

To align with the priorities and objectives of the of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and meet Ireland's obligations under the nature directives, the scheme is now being expanded to include communities that wish to foster better engagement with other designated and protected habitats and species as well as peatland habitats.

Minister Noonan said the scheme "reaffirms our collective commitment to empowering local communities and fostering a deeper connection with our natural heritage".

"Through collaborative efforts, we can safeguard our precious ecosystems, enhance biodiversity and mitigate the impacts of climate change, ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come," he added.

Peatlands restoration

A statement from the Department of Housing said the restoration of peatlands yields significant ancillary benefits, such as enhanced biodiversity, augmented natural capital, improved water quality and flood mitigation.

The Peatlands and Natura Community Engagement Scheme aims to encourage local communities, organisations, educational institutions and other stakeholders to actively contribute to the conservation and restoration of Natura 2000 sites and peatland areas.

Range of initiatives

Applications are now invited across a diverse range of initiatives with a community benefit including:

  • Events, education programmes, promotions, publications, exhibitions.
  • Development of conservation management plans, public amenity and recreational measures, maintenance measures that support conservation measures.
  • Monitoring or surveying work to inform of restoration/conservation projects.
  • Invasive species and fire control measures.
  • Anti-littering initiatives to local environmental improvements in the area of the designated sites and other peatland areas.
  • Applications

    The closing date for applications is Friday 5 July. Further details of the scheme are available on the NPWS website.