Photo: Martin Lyttle at Drummin Bog
The voluntary Carlow Drummin Bog Project committee are delighted to announce after several years work, they have secured LEADER funding to enable preliminary scientific investigation of Drummin Bog in South Carlow during 2020. LEADER funding will support the first stage of restoring the last remnant of raised bog, an important natural heritage site in the South East of Ireland.
Drummin Bog Project Chair Martin Lyttle explained: “The project proposes to commission baseline scientific surveys and mapping of the bog in order to inform and plan the future restoration of the site to once again become an active peat-forming bog.
A Restoration Management Plan and community amenity plan will be prepared as part of this work. The data collected from these surveys will also assist in the development of the overall site at Drummin bog as a conservation, educational and amenity area for the local community and beyond.
Martin, a South Carlow-based geotechnical engineer and stone sculptor, said that LEADER funding will enable specialist site investigation and analyses during 2020. These will include:
- Geological Investigations which will include Geophysics, window (core) sampling and ground probing.
- Hydrogeological investigations consisting of stand pipe installation and monitoring and analysis of findings.
- Aerial survey
- Ecological surveys consisting of a Natura survey and Eco type survey
- Pollen analysis
- Forest management plan development
- Production of drawings and maps
These scientific analyses will provide base-line data. Based on the information gathered above, Martin explained a future stage 2 LEADER funding application will be developed to support the actual bog restoration work, such as blocking drains, removal of alien species, cutting back and management of encroaching woodland, etc.
Only then, once the site has been stabilised, will facilities be developed, in consultation with the local community to allow public access to the peatland. It is envisaged a circular walkway will be developed around the bog with a walkway to the centre for observation purposes. The current parking area will be upgraded and educational signage (using material from these scientific surveys) will be developed and erected at the entrance and appropriate places on the walkway.
Community engagement is an important aspect of this project. Committee members, Jules Michael and Cathy Fitzgerald developed a successful 2019 Creative Ireland programme for creative educational engagement with the three local National schools near Drummin bog.
Martin and the Drummin Bog committee concluded that in time, the Drummin Bog Project will greatly contribute to local pride for a unique and critical natural heritage area, and become a feature for tourism in the South Carlow – Drummond – St Mullins area.
Martin wished to express thanks to the Drummin Bog Project committee for all their work to highlight this special place, and to Cherish Kinsella, the Leader Development Officer, for the Carlow County Development Partnership. Special thanks also to Lorcan Scott, former South East Wildlife Ranger, who advised the committee in the early years of the project and the Creative Ireland Programme and the incredible support from the Community Wetland Forum.