An Fód Deireanach (The Last Sod), a new TG4 four-part series, will explore our complex relationship with Ireland’s “secret treasure”, our peatlands.
Manchán Magan will present the series, which aims to take viewers on a “visually spectacular, informative, and entertaining” tour.
Producers have described Ireland as a “bog superpower” with the third-largest amount of surviving peatland in the world.
The bog is part of our country’s culture and heritage, but these biodiverse habitats are under threat.
Covering one-sixth of the country, peatlands began to form 10,000 years ago.
With many of the bogs in the rest of Europe already gone, Ireland is at a crossroads.
Do we stop and take stock for future generations, or do we keep digging until we come to the last sod?
Each of the four episodes concentrates on a particular aspect of our peatlands.
First up, Manchán takes a look at climate change; can saving our peatlands help save the planet?
He visits Bord na Móna, who says “the world is changing, and we are changing with it”.
Investigating where this leaves the average turf cutter, Manchán meets with campaigners who say that without turf-cutting rural Ireland cannot survive.
During episode two, Manchán looks at the ecological importance of our peatlands. With Éanna Ní Lamhna, he learns that there is more to the bog than just turf; observing carnivores plants within a fragile ecosystem.
He explores the healing properties of the bog, sampling a popular tonic for the Celtic curse, hemochromatosis.
Also, in the series, Manchán asks if we can strike a balance between the preservation of our peatlands and the preservation of our culture?
Manchán investigates what lies in store for the bogs of Ireland. Managed properly, our peatlands can provide so much for us, “a sod of turf is worth more to us in the ground than on the fire”.
Producers said that living bogs provide protection against floods, increase biodiversity, improve the quality and amount of our drinking water, and are our “greatest natural ally” in the fight against carbon.
Manchán questions whether it is time we cut our Fód Deireanach.
This series begins on Thursday, April 7th, 2022, at 8.00 pm on TG4.