Restoration within the Galway Wind Park

 

Overview

The EU Life Multi-Peat project will optimize the hydrological system of degraded peatlands of a wide range of types in Poland (PL), Germany (GE), Belgium (BE), Netherlands (NL) and Ireland (IE) to reduce GHG emissions and recover the optimal conditions to restart their sequestering functions, under the precondition of overcoming obstacles in multistakeholder landscapes. Assess the climate impact of the restoration measures by quantifying the GHG emissions, calculating the current annual GHG budgets and potential savings in the future.​

 

Background

IE is the only Member State with a significant representation of Atlantic blanket bog habitat (H7130); improving its conservation status is a particularly crucial objective for the EU. Atlantic Blanket bog habitat once covered over 773kha. After centuries of degradation due to draining cutting and more recently, afforestation and overgrazing, this habitat has been depleted by over 80%. The Connemara Bog Complex consists of over 49kHa of blanket bog in various conservation status. This project will focus on restoring lands within and adjacent to the existing SAC complex on private lands. We will focus on restoration in two areas: within Ireland’s largest wind farm, the Galway Wind Park (GWP) examining GHG emission reductions on the peatlands and their interaction with the GHG impacts of the wind farm. After flora and fauna surveys, we will identify local landowners willing to restore degraded blanket bog habitat for the purpose of scaling up restoration work in the area. The GWP site consists of 2 parcels of degraded blanket bog of 155ha and 62ha. We will improve the habitat used by the Greenland white fronted goose, a nationally important wintering area. We will also work with the existing LIFE IP-PAF Wild Atlantic Nature project to develop synergies with farmers outside the GWP in the SAC network. Blanket bog extent and depth is not well mapped; we will provide a habitat mapping and management document and develop long-term blanket bog management policies to retain conditions suitable for blanket bog formation. We will also analyse the potential to increase N2000 designation, analyse potential synergies between co-located blanket bog and wind turbines while making policy recommendations for all aspects of this work.​

 

Activities

CVWFD actions for Multi Peat

  • Contribute to scaling up peatland restoration on the selected project sites. (Marked in yellow).​

  • Improve state of habitats and relevant species.​

Work with University of Galway and community stakeholders to:

  • Develop and implement a peatland restoration plan.​

  • Promote engagement in Climate Change Mitigation.​

  • Raise awareness of degraded peatlands’ role in global warming.​

 

Benefits 

  • Greenhouse gas reduction​

  • Environmental improvement including site hydrology (resiliency to flooding, increased baseflow) and Increase in plant species associated with blanket bog habitat​

  • Biodiversity benefits eg restoring the habitat of white fronted geese​

  • Research and educational benefits​

  • Enhancing community relations​

  • European collaboration

Niall Ó Brolcháin

Project Lead
University of Galway

Niall Ó Brolcháin

Dr. Terry Morley, Assistant Professor in Physical Geography, University of Galway

Assistant Professor in Physical Geography
University of Galway

Dr. Terry Morley

John O’Sullivan

SSE Renewables Environmental Advisor
University of Galway

John O’Sullivan

Piaras Ó Giobúin<br />University of Galway

Project Ecologist

Piaras Ó Giobúin

Al Margaret Waskow

Peatland Policy Portal
University of Galway

Al Margaret Waskow

Cáit Gleeson

Peatland Policy
University of Galway

Cáit Gleeson

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