LIFE Irish Raised Bogs - Restoring Active Raised Bog in Ireland's SAC Network 2016 - 2020

LIFE14 NAT/IE/000032

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Jack McGauley
Email: Jack.McGauley@ahg.gov.ie

Project description:


The conservation status of active raised bogs in Ireland is under increasing pressure due to a long history of mismanagement, most notably turf cutting and associated drainage. It is estimated that there has been a 99% loss of the original area of actively growing raised bogs; while only about 1 650 ha of the remaining ‘intact’ high bog can now be classified as ‘Active Raised Bog’. There is an urgent need to reverse this decline and improve the conservation status of active raised bogs, by developing and implementing restoration measures to restore these sites to favourable condition.


The overall objective of the LIFE Irish Raised Bogs project is to improve the conservation status of the Annex I Habitats Directive habitat ‘Active Raised Bog’, through the protection and restoration of 12 Natura 2000 network sites in the midlands of Ireland.

The specific objectives of the project are:

  • To secure landowner cooperation and local community involvement and support;
  • To raise water levels to create the necessary conditions for Active Raised Bog;
  • To remove naturally regenerating trees and shrubs;
  • To put in place fire protection measures; and
  • To fence project sites where necessary.
  • Expected results:

  • An initial indication of an improvement in the conservation status of Active Raised Bog (although it could take 10-30 years for definitive results);
  • A total of 752 ha of Active Raised Bog restored across the 12 sites;
  • A total of 2 649 ha of raised bog habitat improved by restoration works across the 12 sites;
  • Around 182 km of drains blocked on high and cutover bog areas using over 15 000 dams to raise water levels;
  • The clearance of naturally regenerating trees on up to 2 649 ha;
  • Fire plans prepared for all project sites and a fire prevention campaign run;
  • Up to 6 km of fencing erected where necessary;
  • A heightened public awareness of the importance of Ireland's 53 raised bog SACs and support from local communities for the urgent long-term conservation and restoration measures needed;
  • Increased employment opportunities for rural communities;
  • EU added value provided in demonstrating how to implement policies requiring engagement with rural-dwelling citizens, who represent about half the total EU-28 population; and
  • Project techniques’ manual for transferability and replication of best practices.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Bogs and Mires


draining‚  water monitoring‚  wetland

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 ...
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...

Target Habitat types

  • 7110 - Active raised bogs

Natura 2000 sites

SCI IE0000006 Killyconny Bog (Cloghbally)
SCI IE0000572 Clara Bog
SCI IE0000575 Ferbane Bog
SCI IE0000580 Mongan Bog
SCI IE0000581 Moyclare Bog
SCI IE0000582 Raheenmore Bog
SCI IE0000585 Sharavogue Bog
SCI IE0000597 Carrowbehy/Caher Bog
SCI IE0000604 Derrinea Bog
SCI IE0000679 Garriskil Bog
SCI IE0001242 Carrownagappul Bog
SCI IE0002341 Ardagullion Bog



Coordinator Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Type of organisation National authority
Description The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (DAHG) oversees the conservation, preservation, protection and presentation of Ireland's heritage and cultural assets. Within the organisation, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) section of the Department manages the Irish State's nature conservation responsibilities under national and European law, including the designation and protection of Natura 2000 network sites.
Partners None


Project reference LIFE14 NAT/IE/000032
Duration 01-JAN-2016 to 31-DEC -2020
Total budget 5,408,249.00 €
EU contribution 4,056,186.00 €
Project location Midlands(Ireland) West(Ireland) Mid East(Ireland) Border(Ireland)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version