Written Answers. - Cutaway Bogs.

Michael McDowell

Question:

262 Mr. M. McDowell asked the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications the works undertaken under the cutaway bogs measure in the Operational Programme for Economic Infrastructure 1994 to 1999. [2063/96]

The cutaway bogs measure of the Operational Programme for Economic Infrastructure 1994-99 provides for desk studies into the regeneration of certain of Bord na Móna's cutaway peatlands and for the development of pilot studies to test the conclusions of the studies.

The pilot studies, which will be undertaken over a five year period, will result in the creation of 1,000 acres of new wetlands and the development of an additional 500 acres to form wildlife habitats through a process of natural regeneration.

The total cost of the measure will be approximately £2.2 million of which 50 per cent will be grant-aided by the EU. Formal approval was received from the EU in July, 1995.

Bord Na Móna, who are managing the project, have advised that the network of participants has now been put together and the various activities have commenced i.e. the information studies and some preliminary work on the onsite development of the new wetlands.

The successful completion of this measure should eliminate any gaps in our current knowledge regarding the principles underpinning the planning and development of amenity and wildlife areas and will form the basis for future development of Bord na Móna's cutaway peatlands.