The Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme aims to encourage local communities, groups, schools and interested parties to engage with my Department in relation to the conservation of raised bog special areas of conservation, natural heritage areas and other raised bog areas and to promote public engagement and awareness of our natural heritage.
On 24 April this year, I announced a call for applications for the 2019 peatlands community engagement scheme. The scheme provides for grant funding of 75% of the total cost of a project. This year, I introduced a phased payment option of the total grant. To facilitate start-up, 30% of the funding for a project may be payable on acceptance of the grant and meeting start up conditions.
Applications were accepted for the scheme up to the end of May 2019.
In July 2019, I approved grant funding of just under €131,000 to thirteen local community groups and organisations, with €16,245 to be provided to seven of these groups through the phased payment option.
Funding was awarded to two local groups in County Westmeath
1. Ethos (Everything Tyrrellspass has on show), Co. Westmeath was awarded funding of €1,500 to photograph species of night flying moths found on local raised bogs and display the images. To run a bog plant identification workshop with emphasis on sphagnum mosses present at Cloncrow Bog natural heritage area, to hold public lectures and talks on the value of raised bogs as carbon sinks and to organise a community bog walk on Cloncrow Bog highlighting the unique habitat during heritage week.
2. Meath Westmeath Peatland Heritage (Coolronan Bog part of the Bracklyn Bogs Complex) was awarded funding of €1,000 towards a proposed bog week comprised of a raised bog education programme for three primary schools and one secondary school, with events including talks, activities, a bog art exhibition and a raised bog fact sheet publication
No applications were received from local groups / organisations from County Longford.