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Minister of State Malcolm Noonan doubles grant funding for 25 community peatland initiatives across the country

Malcolm Noonan T.D., Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform today, (22 February 2021), announced that he has approved grant funding of just under €230,000 to 25 local community groups and organisations for a variety of peatlands related projects across Ireland.

Announcing the funding under the Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme, which has been operating for the last number of years, the Minister stated that he was delighted to see the diverse range of initiatives put forward by such active community and volunteer groups and environmental organisations. The Minister stated that the amount of high quality applications received for 2021 was impressive and he was delighted there was such a geographic spread – with projects in 15 counties set to benefit.

He said: “The high volume and quality of applications to the Scheme shows just how much communities care about and value their local peatlands, and how much enthusiasm there is across the country for local people to work together to protect, explore and enjoy these precious habitats. These kinds of bottom-up initiatives are inspiring and I’m proud to have the opportunity to support them.”

This funding allocation – a two-fold increase on last year’s allocation to the scheme – will support various projects in local peatland areas from boardwalks, maintenance of bog trails, peatland restoration plans, information signage and way finder markers, the surveying of bog habitats and birds, promotional material and publications, oral history projects, invasive species control and peatland education programmes to nature awareness, wellness and sensory experiences.

The Minister went on to praise the important peatland work being done by communities and organisations; “I know from my own experience that hands-on local action can have enormous positive impacts - not just for nature and biodiversity, but also for people in terms of physical and mental health and wellbeing. Investments in nature deliver enormous social value, which is especially important in these challenging times.”

Projects to benefit include five in Roscommon, four in Galway, two in Westmeath and Laois and one apiece in counties Kildare, Offaly, Kerry, Clare, Cavan, Monaghan, Dublin, Carlow, Wicklow, Tipperary and Louth.

Editor’s Note:

Activities/projects funded under the scheme will be subject to adherence to public health COVID-19 pandemic guidelines and legislation and any other relevant statutory requirements.

Grants Awarded - Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme 2021


Project Location

Description of Project

Grant Awarded


Abbeyleix Bog Project


Co. Laois

To procure equipment and software to develop skills amongst the Abbeyleix Bog Project volunteers and to use this to collect survey data and map over 3,000 peat dams that were installed.



Cloonsellan Abbey Conservation Group


Co. Roscommon

To carry out maintenance work under phase 4 of enhancement works to existing bog road at Clooncraff Bog Loop Walk (part of Lough Ree Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Co. Roscommon), installation of seating and a wicker sculpture.


Irish Peatlands Conservation Council



Co. Kildare

To upgrade a bog boardwalk, viewing area and seat, install signage and seating and improve access. To deliver a volunteer work camp to clear scrub along the boundary of the nature reserve and offer educational visits to 15 schools/classes at Lodge Bog.


ETHOS (Everything Tyrellspass Has On Show)

Co. Westmeath

To undertake surveys and mapping of Cloncrow Bog Natural Heritage Area to inform the development of a proposed boardwalk.


St. Brendan’s Community School

Co. Offaly

To upgrade existing wooden trackway at Killaun Bog looped walk.


NEWKD (North, East and West Kerry Development),

Co. Kerry

To design and print a brochure in respect of local history of the bogs in Kerry to include maps, history, types of peat, existing and potential future usage, habitats, wildlife and vegetation.




Connolly Tidy Villages

Co. Clare

To continue the development of a looped bog walk to include a birdwatch hut and signage, to remove invasive species and host bog walks during the year.


Mount Allen Residents

Co. Roscommon

To complete a peatland restoration plan and to undertake drain blocking works.


Kilteevan Tidy Towns

Co. Roscommon

To publish the Cloonlarge Loop Walk Biodiversity Calendar 2022, the purchase and installation of fencing and gate and to install a living willow feature within Lough Ree Special Area of Conservation.


Portrun Development Association CLG

Co. Roscommon

To carry out maintenance work, to purchase and install trail head signage with Q.R codes and to produce a brochure with map of walk within Lough Ree Special Area of Conservation.


St. Killians Heritage Trust

Co. Cavan

To complete an oral history project, to purchase interactive screens, to purchase equipment for educational purposes, to produce a calendar, to exhibit old agricultural bog tools and to hold nature awareness and sensory experiences, ecology and climate change experiences and mental health awareness experiences.


River Blackwater Catchment Trust

Co. Monaghan

To complete the removal of approximately 50 ha of self-seeding conifers and rhododendron within Slieve Beagh Special Protection Area.



An Taisce – The National Trust of Ireland

Co. Dublin

To update and expand on the existing An Taisce publication “The Wonder of Peatlands” and to provide an online information portal on peat free gardening and to disseminate and promote community awareness in the use of composting alternatives.


Looscaun Shannonside Development Group

Co. Galway

To carry out hedge trimming, bog track maintenance and upgrades as part of the development of a walking and cycling trail through Cloonmoylan/Barroughter Bogs Special Areas of Conservation.


Kilchreest/Castledaly Community Development Group

Co. Galway

Waste management measures including waste removal, to erect signage and barriers and ongoing monitoring in the Sliabh Aughty Mountains within Sonnagh Bog Special Area of Conservation.



Amsterdam, Netherlands (pilot to take place in Irish school)

To develop material and undertake trial education programme within one school in Ireland.


Drummin Bog Project

Co. Carlow

To install monitors to assess peat dam installation success, continued monitoring of all installations and of weather station on the bog (Drummin Bog), and engage with secondary schools in the project.


Moate Action Group

Co. Westmeath

To erect information signage, to host a seminar with expert speakers and to compile a book on the seminar, host talks to promote the natural and built heritage.


Birdwatch Ireland

Co. Wicklow

To undertake an assessment of breeding birds on raised bog Special Areas of Conservation sites in the midlands, produce a video on the breeding birds on each site which will be disseminated to local community groups and nationally through BirdWatch Ireland and social media platforms and a scientific publication.


Ballydangan Bog Red Grouse Project

Co. Roscommon

For improvement works at the vehicle/parking access area for visitors. Improvement of walking path at Ballydangan Bog and revision/updating of existing conservation plan.



Scohaboy Bog / Cloughjordan Community Development Group

Co. Tipperary

To undertake a habitat survey at Scohaboy Bog Natural Heritage Area on habitats not covered to date and to carry out an Appropriate Assessment for a proposed route way for a new visitor and amenity boardwalk.



Attymon Development Group

Co. Galway

Toundertake specialised surveys (breeding birds, mammal & butterfly), to produce a video using professional wildlife footage, aerial footage and interviews to showcase the natural wonders and history of the bog, to produce a 24 pg. booklet and online resource, produce a poster and host a series of events (nature walks and day on the bog event).


Mountrath Scout Group

Co. Laois

To run a series of awareness and education days at Knockacoller Bog Special Area of Conservation and engage experts to run workshops, erect signage at entrance of the bog, install wildlife cameras and survey area using drone.



Cooley Connect Well

Co. Louth

To undertake professional mapping of historical sites, preserve and maintain common local historical walk, engage with expert for historical site and habitat report, print and distribute booklets, engagement with local school and community booklet launch.



Galway Telework Co-Operative Society

Co. Galway

To complete ongoing maintenance and repair of bog roads, to erect signage, to install outdoor seating and to undertake work on interpretative centre.



Further details and the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme are available on the Department’s website (NPWS) at