Ireland’s bogs are among its most characteristic features. The island contains more bog, relatively speaking, than any other European country except Finland, and with many of Europe’s bogs already gone, Ireland’s now have an increased importance. Below you will find details of some of the most significant Irish bogs.
County Longford’s abundant bogs make it an ideal location for investigating this particular type for landscape. Wetlands are places of great beauty, and highly valued tourist attractions for visitors to Ireland.
Many wetland plant species that are rated “vulnerable” in Europe are still quite common in Ireland, with bog orchids, varieties of heather, and sphagnum moss remaining relatively widespread in Longford. The Ballykenny/Fishertown raised bog, an area of 94 hectares, is a protected peatland site under the auspices of the Wildlife Service.
Bog of Allen Nature Centre
Lullymore, Bog of Allen, Rathangan, Kildare
The Bog of Allen Nature Centre is a fascinating source of information about the wet and wild boglands of Ireland. An international centre for peatland education, conservation and research, it provides information on the history of peat and the unique flora and fauna associated with bogs. Programmes on offer for groups include guided walks across the Bog of Allen, workshops on peat-free gardening and composting and visits to the Habitats and Gardens at the Nature Centre.
Millstreet Country Park
Millstreet Country Park includes more than 500 acres, of lakes, wetlands, walks, a picnic area, moorlands, an arboretum, meadows, ornamental gardens, and archaeological sites.
An audio visual presentation takes visitors through the evolution of the landscape from the pre-Ice age, Jurassic Cretaceous era, 250 million years ago, to the present day. Interactive Touch Screens allow the armchair traveller to view the wetlands, herb-rich meadow, the upper arboretum, the native red deer population, and the nine lakes and waterfalls of the panoramic Mushera Ravine.
The bog garden at Skibbereen in Cork encapsulates the typical flora and fauna of an Irish bog. Part of the ground disappears under the reflecting surface of water, dotted with tree-covered islands.
Bridges transport the visitor from island to island, leaving the impression of walking upon water.
Concealed beneath a 5,000-year-old bog near Ballycastle in Co Mayo is a remarkable pattern of walled fields and corrals, which indicate the existence of an ancient, ordered tribe who farmed this area before the bog was formed.
The beautiful visitor centre on the site interprets this phenomenon with a series of imaginative displays and an audio visual presentation. The centre also illustrates the geology of the area, wild flora, and the history of the bog development.
Guided tours are available on request, with access for people with disabilities to the ground floor of the centre and to the tearooms. Special parking may be arranged by prior arrangment.
The Blanket Bog
Erris, Belmullet, Mayo
The Blanket Bog: This living, breathing, unspoilt bogland is the largest in Europe and teeming with wildlife and flora. The serenity here is disturbed only by the sound of the Corncrake. Many species of wildfowl stop here on their migratory route from the Arctic, Canada, and Greenland. Among the abundant flora are varieties originating in the Arctic, South West Europe, and North America.