2 February, 2024

World Wetlands Day 2024

‘Wetlands and Human Wellbeing’ is the theme for World Wetlands Day 2024, with the focus on how interconnected wetlands and human life are, and how all aspects of human wellbeing are tied to the health of the world’s wetlands.

IAC Archaeology are currently contracted by the National Monuments Service to carry out archaeological monitoring of Bord na Móna’s Enhanced Decommissioning Rehabilitation and Restoration Scheme (EDRRS), which commenced in 2022. The work being carried out consists of rewetting c. 33,000ha former industrial peat production areas by blocking drains and creating soggy peatland conditions that will allow compatible peatland habitats to redevelop. The strategy has been developed to optimise ecosystem service benefits of peatland rehabilitation and restoration, particularly carbon storage and reducing carbon emissions. In addition, this will also benefit biodiversity and water, as well as providing space for local communities and people to enjoy the outdoors.

Systematic archaeological surveys of Bord na Móna bogs commenced in 1991 and first round surveys of all of their industrial bogs were completed by 2005, by which time over 4,500 archaeological structures of various compositions and sizes were recorded. These dated from the Neolithic to the early modern periods, demonstrating human interaction within wetlands throughout several millennia. Re-assessment surveys (second, and in some cases third round, surveys) were carried out in 33 bogs between 1998 and 2013, mainly to inform mitigation measures. These came in the form of targeted excavation projects which were carried out under the Bord na Móna / National Monuments Service Code of Practice between 1999 and 2015.

The reel of images linked below highlights some of the work that has been carried out by our expert team, led by Jane Whitaker and Tim Coughlan, during the course of previous surveys and excavations as well as the current EDRRS scheme, which includes monitoring of the decommissioning works, as well as targeted archaeological inspections and recording of the final archaeological status within the bogs. Drone images captured by our surveyor Enda Lydon.

Further information on this project is available here.