Wild Western Peatlands Project (Coillte)

The Wild Western Peatlands project will see Coillte Nature restore and rehabilitate approximately 2,100 hectares of Atlantic blanket bog and wet heath that is currently planted with commercial spruce and pine forests.

“These areas were planted to create rural employment at a time when the importance of peatlands for carbon storage and biodiversity was not well understood. The Wild Western Peatlands project will allow us to rehabilitate a rare habitat of international importance. Learnings from this project will help us to develop a range of solutions for rehabilitating other similar areas.”
– Coillte Nature Director, Dr Ciarán Fallon

We will take an ecological approach to rehabilitating these sensitive landscapes, restoring bog and wet heath where possible, and taking other options into account where this is not feasible such as establishing native woodlands. Each site will be different and will have a management plan prepared to suit its particular characteristics.

Derryclare, Co. Galway
Project Details
What?Atlantic blanket bog
Where?Peatlands in the west and northwest
Why?To enhance biodiversity and improve carbon storage in the landscape
How?Rewetting bogs and planting native pioneer birch woodlands on the margins
When?2020 – 2024
Partners?Various – stakeholder engagement in progress

Which sites will we be working on? 

We have started surveying and planning work on a Wild Western Peatlands pilot site at Derryclare in Co. Galway and we expect to select several other large sites across the western seaboard as the project progresses.

The Coillte property at Derryclare lies to the west of Lough Inagh and Derryclare Lough in Connemara, north of the Galway to Clifden road (N59). This area is a key tourist and angling destination and is close to the Wild Atlantic Way and the Western Way.  This iconic site is surrounded by the Twelve Bens/Garraun Complex Special Area of Conservation and contains areas of high biodiversity value, therefore offering great potential for resdesign and restoration. To the south-east of the property lies the Derryclare Nature Reserve, managed by the NPWS and one of the finest examples of semi-natural Atlantic oak woodlands in Ireland.

Get involved

We have started intital stakeholder engagement for this project and will continue with this throughout the various stages of the project. You can download a copy of our first Stakeholder Information Document. We aim to work in close collaboration with local communities, environmental NGOs, specialists and state agencies, so if you’re interested in working with us on this project or would like to learn more, contact our Outreach Manager Hedda Dick on hedda.dick@coillte.ie.

You can follow updates about this project in our Coillte Nature News section of the website.

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