Malcolm Noonan T.D., Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform has approved grant funding of just under €230,000 - a two-fold increase on last year’s allocation to the scheme - to 25 local community groups and organisations for a variety of peatlands related projects across Ireland.
The Minister stated that the amount of high quality applications received for the 2021 Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme was impressive and he was delighted there was such a geographic spread – with projects in 15 counties set to benefit. This includes one project in his home constituency of Carlow-Kilkenny: the Drummin Bog Project, which will receive funding to assess peat dam installation success, monitor installations and the weather station, and engage with secondary schools. 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.”
Watch a short video explaining the funding scheme:
This funding allocation 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 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.