Under the EU’s Habitats Directive, 57 sites have been designated as SACs specifically for their raised bog habitat. This is one of the rarest habitats in the world; in Ireland the extent of ‘active’ raised bog (i.e. where wet peat was still growing) was mostly recently calculated at 0.6% of its original extent. However, this figure is now likely to be significantly smaller.
Details sent to the IWT (and reproduced below) show that of the 57 SACs, turf-cutting was monitored by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at half of the sites (28 SACs) since 2016.
Various court reports on illegal turf cutting