Irish Heritage Site
Types of Peat Bogs
Bord na Mona
Preserving the road (which was discovered by one of the huge turf-cutters and, luckily, reported) required stabilization of the bog itself. Bogs are mostly water, and in order to keep the trackway from being degraded, the restoration process included inserting a plastic liner around the entire area and creating four small artificial lakes to keep the area moist. Instead of being drained for harvesting, this portion of the bog is being returned to its natural state. The hope is that the bog will regenerate, and ensure the survival of the Iron-age road it contains.
The visitor center is actually very informative, and houses the restored part of the bog road in a special, humidity controlled environment. Each of the board was freeze-dried, and then injected with resin to stablize them, then were reconstructed exactly in place in the new center. The manager at the center was thrilled to see us -- apparently it's not a hugely popular tourist site -- and he walked us out on the reconstructed bog and pointed out types of plants, animals, explained in detail how the restoration process worked. It was fun.
The existing bog is a complete cornucopia of animal, plant, and bug species. There are types of plants that exist no where else in Ireland, and the rich bogland supports thousands of species. We even saw teeny, tiny, wee Venus Fly Traps.
lost in ireland 2005 travelogue and photos © rfingerson