Funding for local peatland projects welcomed

This recent announcement of just over €100,000 in funding for nine community groups and organisations for a variety of peatland-related projects in Roscommon and Galway has been welcomed locally.

The funding was announced by Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan as part of national grant funding of just under €230,000 to twenty-five groups.

Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy said: “Over €50,000 has been allocated to five projects in Roscommon and four projects in Galway will benefit from funding of €58,000 under the Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme. There is great enthusiasm throughout local communities to develop and protect local peatlands, the high level of quality applications is testament to the strength of these kind of bottom-up initiatives”.

Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan said community groups were working together to protect boglands, biodiversity and wildlife.

“We see how important walking areas and amenities are for the community in our local areas especially during lockdown,” she said.

The projects to benefit in County Roscommon included: €13,831 for the Cloonsellan Abbey Conservation Group to carry out maintenance work to existing bog road at Clooncraff Bog Loop Walk and the installation of seating and a wicker sculpture; €10,000 for the Mount Allen Residents to complete a peatland restoration plan and drain blocking works; €3,500 for Kilteevan Tidy Towns to publish the Cloonlarge Loop Walk Biodiversity Calendar 2022, the purchase and installation of fencing and gate and to install a living willow feature; €10,000 for the Portrun Development Association CLG to carry out maintenance work, to purchase and install trail head signage with Q.R codes and to produce a brochure; and €3,000 for Ballydangan Bog Red Grouse Project for improvement works at the vehicle/parking access area for visitors and improvement of walking path and the revision of its existing conservation plan.

This week, Pat Feehily from Moore Community Council highlighted some of the progress at Ballydangan Bog: “We have great community support and volunteers who help us under the Community Employment Scheme. I would also like to thank Dr. David Scanlon and David Fallon who helped our team put this application together.

“Over the past ten years we have seen the return of grouse and the increase of curlews in Ballydangan bog. We have participated in Teagasc studies of the area as well as surveys with Birdwatch Ireland. This funding will allow us to further develop the parking and path to allow more people to appreciate our local wildlife and rich biodiversity while walking in the bog”.