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August 25, 2008

Dam It! Save Lodge Bog For Peat's Sake

As part of Heritage Week, the Irish Peatland Conservation Council are putting out a call for volunteers who wish to take part in the restoration work to be carried out at Lodge Bog Nature Reserve in Lullymore, Co. Kildare. The event will run from Sunday 24th to Sunday 31st August and volunteers can come for whatever length of time they are available for on any day of the week.

The work will include the blocking of drains that are bleeding the bog dry, the removal of invasive species that are replacing the rare natives of our bogs and also some general habitat improvement and site maintenance. The field work will be led by Cillian Breathnach, the IPCC¹s Conservation and Reserves Officer, who will be happy to explain why the work needs to be carried out and also answer any questions volunteers may have.

At a time when bogs are under so much pressure from exploitation, this work is important for conserving what remains of this natural national treasure. Lullymore Bog once covered 6,575 hectares and was the largest in the complex of bogs that made up the Bog of Allen. Today only 322 hectares remain in a relatively intact state supporting typical peatland plants and animals. Of this remaining fraction, Lodge Bog (28 hectares) is the only portion protected as a Biodiversity Reserve.

The effects of this protection are evident when one walks in the reserve. Plants such as the insect eating Sundews, the Bog Asphodel and a variety of Orchids set off a riot of colour. Hares dart around a network of well worn tracks through the vegetation. This summer, a breeding pair of Curlew were
spotted, as well as a pair of Kestrels soaring over the bog as they taught their young how to hunt. The loss of this oasis of biodiversity would be a travesty and could never be replaced.

If you are interested protecting this wonderful example of our natural heritage call Cillian Breathnach at the IPCC on 045 ­ 860 133 or e-mail Please note this event is not suitable for those under 16 years.