Management Plan

National Raised Bog SAC Management Plan

In early 2011, the Government convened a Peatlands Forum, under the Chairmanship of Judge John Quirke. Following the forum, Judge Quirke recommended that a national plan should be prepared to examine how the 53 raised bog Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are to be protected. Subsequently, Dáil Éireann unanimously supported the recommendation for a national plan to be put in place for Ireland’s protected raised bogs. The approach for developing a National Raised Bog SAC Management Plan was subsequently agreed with the European Commission.

The drafting of this national plan will allow solutions for turf-cutters within each of the 53 raised bogs to be explored in detail. As part of this process, the Government will examine the feasibility of allowing, in a manner consistent with the Habitats Directive and where no alternatives exist, some limited turf cutting within a small number of the 53 bogs.

The Plan will involve a comprehensive examination of all of the raised bog SACs on an individual basis with a view to best addressing the needs of turf-cutters and the long-term conservation management of raised bog habitats within our SACs.

In terms of accommodating the needs of turf-cutters, the national plan will build upon the proposals made at the Peatlands Forum, which identified that relocation is a viable proposition for the majority of the raised bog SACs. Department officials are now in discussion with turf-cutting groups to bring forward proposals for their bogs.

The Department has now published on its website an outline document on the proposed approach for the development of the National Raised Bog SAC Management Plan.

A principal focus of Raised Bog Conservation Study is to provide the scientific and technical underpinning for the development of this plan.