National Peatlands Park
The great Central Plain of Ireland also known as the Bog of Allen, is an area of 115,000 hectares spanning Kildare and our midland counties. Once a complex of vast raised bog it is now a mosaic of peatlands, remnants of active raised bog, cut-over bog with exposed bare peat, farmland, fen and woodland. These unique areas of peatlands are located close to towns and villages built up over two centuries around peat extraction for fuel and horticulture.
Following the announcement by the Irish Government in 2021 that all peat extraction would cease and the commitment by Bord na Mona (the state- owned peat company) to rehabilitate some bogs under its management, a group of voluntary groups and charities formed the National Peatland Park Group. The Group’s mission is to create a National Peatlands Park for the midlands, to celebrate peatland heritage, promote conservation, restore biodiversity and advance scientific research, paleo-archaeology and new scientific disciplines. The group see new socio-economic benefits for local communities following the loss of employment in industrial sectors. The Peatlands Park, already an area of international significance, will drive eco-tourism and sustainable development in the midlands.
What is a National Park?
In 1969, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recommended that all governments agree to reserve the term 'National Park' to areas sharing the following characteristics:
•Where one or several ecosystems are not materially altered by human exploitation and occupation; where plant and animal species, geomorphological sites and habitats are of special scientific, educational and recreational interest or which contain a natural landscape of great beauty;
•Where the highest competent authority of the country has taken steps to prevent or eliminate as soon as possible exploitation or occupation in the whole area and to enforce effectively the respect of ecological, geomorphological or aesthetic features which have led to its establishment;
•Where visitors are allowed to enter, under special conditions, for inspirational, educational, cultural and recreational purposes.
It is the policy of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, endorsed by successive governments, to abide by the criteria and standards for National Parks as set by the IUCN.
Who we are
Supporters and Patrons
Scientists, Educators, Artists, Musicians
We are a partnership of community groups and conservation non-government organisations with a common mission to save and support rehabilitation of our peatlands for future generations and for us to enjoy today. Starting in Kildare, our ambition is to link a mosaic of peatlands and other high nature value sites in the county including spring fed fens, active raised bogs and woodlands. The National Peatlands Park Group has built support among scientists, teachers, artists and musicians. Our supporters include the Irish Peatland Conservation Council, Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park, Birdwatch Ireland, Butterfly Conservation Ireland, Irish Wildlife Trust, Wild Kildare, Kildare Bat Group, Ummeras Community Development Group, Local Councillors and the Kildare Public Participation Network ( PPN) and many others. We want to work together with our Local Authority and Government agencies to channel resources and funding to help with our mission. We would welcome your support.