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The ultimate aim of restoration is to keep the watertable in the peat as close to the surface of the bog as possible, for as much of the year as possible. Ideal conditions for peat forming sphagnum mosses require that the water table should be within 10 cm of the surface.
Project staff from “The Restoring Raised Bog in Ireland” project has liaised with several other projects both here in Ireland, the UK and in other European countries to find the best methodologies to complete work on the 14 project sites.
The main restoration work carried out at the project sites was the felling of conifers and the blocking of drains. Where the conifer crop was young/low yielding, it was felled manually by chainsaw and left on site (to breakdown / decay over time). Where a mature conifer plantation was present, it was clearfelled by machine and the timber removed from the site. The remaining brash was windrowed by machine to partially clear the bog surface of woody material and to allow access for land survey and drain blocking.
|Manual Felling to Waste||Commercial Felling and
water level monitoring
Drains have been blocked with mechanically installed peat dams shere possible in preference to plastic dams. At sites where high water-levels prevented machinery access, plastic dams were inserted manually. Blocking drain on the cutover bog has two effects slowing further water loss from the raised bog system and re-wetting of the cutover. With water run-off from the high bog and blocking od cutover drains, large areas of cutover can re-wet and it is in such areas that bog regeneration is likely to be most successful in the medium to long term.
|Installing Plastic Dams||Peat Dam||Plastic Dam at Carn Park Bog|
In order to prevent the re-growth of tree/shrub species, such as lodgepole pine and downy birch, clearance of natural regeneration was carried out on all sites as required. New fencing and firebreaks were established where necessary at the boundary of the project sites, to prevent trespass of grazing animals and to prevent fire damage to the project sites.