Farming with nature in the midland raised bog landscape.
The FarmPEAT Project is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and has a budget of €1.2 million and will run for two years.
The FarmPEAT (Farm Payments for Ecological and Agricultural Transitions) Project is developing a locally-led, innovative, results-based farm scheme for farmers who manage lands that surround some of Ireland’s finest remaining raised bogs.
Raised bogs represent one of the most valuable natural ecosystems in Ireland and the transition to agricultural lands that surround them can play an important role in maintaining and enhancing their long term conservation value.
Working with local farmers, the project will design and trial a programme especially adapted to the local landscape that will incentivise the delivery of enhanced environmental outcomes.
The programme will reward farmers for improved management of habitats on peat soils along with other important landscape features such as eskers, field boundaries and watercourses. The programme will be results-based in that farmers will get paid depending on the scores they achieve, with higher scores, indicating higher environmental quality, getting higher payments.
It is hoped that this programme will form a basis for future agri-environmental schemes in these areas. As such it presents an opportunity for farmers to be involved in developing policy that could provide long term environmental and economic benefits to their communities into the future.
The FarmPEAT Project will be operating at up to eight candidate study sites centered on raised bogs or former raised bog areas. These sites are located in the Irish midland counties of Roscommon, Offaly, Kildare and Westmeath. Check out our Project Sites Pages to find out more about these sites and for maps of each site.
Coupled with the development of the results-based agri-environmental model, the FarmPEAT Project will assist farmers and the broader community to transition towards a more sustainable use of the peatland resource in the area through a range of educational tools and peer mentoring.
Project Areas Overview
These sites are located in the Irish midland counties of Roscommon, Offaly, Kildare and Westmeath. The sites were selected in order to represent the geographic spread of raised bogs in the midlands and also, at some of the sites, to allow for the FarmPEAT Project to support already completed restoration work and research conducted on the high bogs themselves. In addition, it was important to us when selecting the sites to choose raised bog sites that have a significant proportion of agricultural land surrounding them.
Some of the sites are protected under national (e.g Cloncrow (New Forest) Bog NHA) and international legislation (e.g. Clara Bog Special Area of Conservation). We focused on designated sites for two main reasons:
1. To reward farmers that have previously been impacted by designation of lands, and
2. To allow the project to benefit from baseline ecological and hydrological information available for these sites.
Clink on the links below to find out more about these sites.