The Irish Peatland Conservation Council (IPCC) is set to host a special event at the Bog of Allen Nature Centre in Lullymore, Co. Kildare to commemorate International Bog Day on Sunday, July 23. The event aims to raise awareness about peatlands, highlighting their benefits, the challenges they face, and how individuals can contribute to their preservation, according to the IPCC. Bogs are ecologically significant for various reasons, especially in terms of biodiversity. Nuala Madigan, CEO of the IPCC, explained that boglands support a unique array of flora and fauna that have adapted to thrive in their extremely wet habitat. These areas are home to diverse plant and animal species, including the sundew, a carnivorous plant, the iconic bog cotton, curlews, frogs, newts, and Ireland’s only lizard, the viviparous lizard.
To mark this year’s International Bog Day, the IPCC will open the Bog of Allen Nature Centre to the public free of charge from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the wildlife gardens, which are designed to encourage species like frogs by being peat-free and chemical-free. Additionally, the museum and traditional kitchen will be open for viewing. The gardens also feature a greenhouse showcasing insect-eating plants, including native carnivorous plants like sundew and butterwort, as well as exotic species such as venus flytraps and pitcher plants. All compost used in the gardens is produced on-site from organic waste, and rainwater is collected for watering purposes, ensuring sustainable practices.
The peatland museum offers visitors a glimpse into the rich history of the Bog of Allen, displaying a range of artifacts recovered from the area, including bog butter and an ancient dugout canoe. The traditional kitchen will showcase utensils and instruments that were commonly used in Irish households in the past. At 1:00 p.m., a guided tour of the centre, encompassing the museum, gardens, and insect-eating plants, will be conducted by IPCC staff, who will provide insights into the history of Ireland’s peatlands, with a particular focus on the Bog of Allen.
Newgrange Falconry will be the special guests for the day, offering a captivating display of birds of prey and delivering an informative talk from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. As a highlight of the event, IPCC staff will lead a walk and talk to Lodge Bog at 2:30 p.m. This excursion will provide an opportunity for attendees to explore the natural beauty of the area and learn more about its significance. Additionally, throughout the day, children will have the chance to pond-dip in the courtyard pond, discovering and studying the diverse range of freshwater invertebrates that inhabit bogland ponds.
International Bog Day takes place annually on the fourth Sunday of July, and the IPCC’s event promises to be an engaging and educational experience for all attendees. By opening the Bog of Allen Nature Centre to the public and offering various activities, the IPCC hopes to foster a deeper appreciation for peatlands and encourage individuals to contribute to their conservation.