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€500,000 fund for community projects on bogs and peatlands

Community projects on bogs and peatlands nationwide can apply for up to €500,000 in community engagement funding from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan T.D., today (January 7th) announced that applications are open for the Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme for 2022.

This is a “competitive scheme” that the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage administers.

Bogs funding

A total fund of €500,000 is available in 2022, which, according to the department, is double 2021’s allocation.

The NPWS will award successful applicants of 2022 funding to support a maximum of 75% of the project eligible costs with a maximum grant of €25,000.

The scheme seeks to:

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  • Encourage local peatland communities, local groups, local schools and interested parties to engage in the conservation and revitalisation of raised and blanket bogs, particularly protected bogs, and fens;
  • Promote public engagement with and awareness of our natural heritage and environment.

The department now invites applications for a “diverse” range of peatland initiatives with a community benefit from:

  • Events;
  • Education programmes;
  • Conservation management plans;
  • Restoration measures;
  • Feasibility studies;
  • Public amenity;
  • Recreational projects;
  • Invasive species;
  • Fire control measures.

It also encourages applicants interested in local history and awareness of the importance of peatlands to apply.

Furthermore, the department also hopes that schools will apply for funding. Last year, an Offaly School received €20,000 to reinstate a boardwalk on a local raised bog.

The Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan T.D., commented:

“I am delighted to announce the largest allocation of funding to date for this scheme. This year, for the first time, projects relating to fens are eligible for funding and raised and blanket bog areas.”

“I  thank the community groups who have participated in this scheme so far. Furthermore, I would encourage all schools, the peatland community and voluntary groups to check out the funding available this year.”

He said Ireland’s peatlands, including raised bogs, blanket bogs or fens, are “special and unique places”.

He added that they play an “important” role in contributing to our biodiversity, sense of place and well-being.

2021 bog projects

25 projects qualified for funding in 2021. Some of the projects that received funding include:

  • Connolly Tidy Villages, Co. Clare received €5,144 to continue developing its bog walk. This included erecting a birdwatch hut and signage, removing Japanese Knotweed from the looped bog walk and raising awareness by holding bog walks during the year;
  • Brendan’s Community School, Co. Offaly, €20,000 to replace an existing wooden trackway students previously installed with a recycled plastic one at Killaun Bog looped walk.
  • Galway’s Living Bog, Mountbellew, Co Galway received €20,000 for a looped bog walkway and interpretive facilities at a community building close to Carrownagappul Bog SAC.
  • Birdwatch Ireland, Co. Wicklow received €10,000 to assess breeding birds on raised bog Special Area of Conservation sites in the midlands. From the survey findings, they produced a video on breeding birds on each site and undertook a scientific paper on the breeding birds of these raised bogs.
  • The award-winning Kilteevan Tidy Towns Group in Roscommon received €3,500 to publish Cloonlarge Loop Walk Biodiversity Calendar 2022.
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