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IFI submission relating to Bord na Mona’s Draft Rehabilitation Plans for Cavemount, Esker and Clonad Bogs

IFI submission relating to a restoration plan for a section of cut-over bog that has the Esker River flowing through it.

Photos highlight extent of hydro-morphological issues.

IFI hope to carry out restoration measures along much of the Esker River, as there is excellent habitat potential.

Site visits by IFI have highlighted significant modifications to watercourses flowing through, adjacent to and downstream of the proposed restoration sites.

The modifications noted included:

Specific issues noted by IFI during site visits included:

IFI request that habitat restoration of the Esker River flowing through the Cavemount site be undertaken as part of this bog restoration plan.

Sections of this channel were straightened in the recent past and we request that the potential for this section of channel to develop some sinuosity and in-stream variation be included. It is likely that restoration of this section of channel will require the re-introduction of some gravels also.

With regard to the proposed rehabilitation plans, IFI have a number of concerns, including:

IFI is keen to build on recent water quality improvements in the Black River, which drains 21% of the Barrow River catchment and to restore and increase populations of salmon and other native fish species over large sections of this system. Existing populations of salmon within the Black River are already an integral component of the Barrow River SAC populations of these species and as these populations expand in numbers and range their importance will increase significantly.

IFI believe that the implementation of restoration plan/plans, throughout the Esker/Daingean/Black River catchment to address the water quality & hydro-morphological issues referred to above, will be an important part of the restoration of populations of salmon & other species for which the Barrow River was SAC designated.

In addition the implementation of such plans will also be central to Ireland’s requirements for the implementation of the requirements of the Water Framework Directive.

IFI welcome the Bord na Mona, Biodiversity Action Plan 2016-2021 statement that “the main aim of rehabilitation will be to re-wet former production areas as much as possible to maximize the benefits for biodiversity and carbon”.

IFI believe that the benefits for biodiversity referred to above can be increased significantly with the inclusion of river habitat restoration in these plans and we request that applicant expand these bog restoration plans to include a commitment to river habitat restoration throughout the Daingean/Esker and Figile systems.

[Bord na Mona responses to follow]

Cutaway Bog Decommissioning and Rehabilitation Plans

Bord na Mona’s Cavemount Bog in County Offaly is located circa 4 km north-east of Daingean and circa 12 km east of Edenderry.

Esker Bog – Bord na Mona’s Esker Bog in County Offaly is located circa 9 km south-west of Edenderry

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