Thursday, February 2nd is World Wetlands Day.
World Wetlands Day is about appreciating the vital role wetlands play in our ecosystems and protecting them.
Here in Mayo, we are blessed with many wetland areas, from our blanket bogs, dotted with small lakes and bogpools, to our ‘great western lakes’, like Conn, Cullin, Carra and Mask, to our coastal sites, like Mulranny saltmarshes and the brackish lake of Furnace. Indeed, we have 3 Ramsar wetlands sites of international importance, in the Sheskin Knockmoyle Bog Complex, the Owenduff Bog Complex and the Blacksod & Broadhaven Bays area.
All Ramsar sites in Ireland can be viewed here.
For long periods, Ireland drained its bogs in order to lower the water table and therefore dry out the peat for harvesting. In some places, this peat production has now ceased and efforts are being made to allow the bogs to refill with water and return to something approaching their natural state. The picture, left, of a blocked drain in north Mayo illustrates how this is being achieved.
On February 2nd, I will be out walking on the bogs to celebrate World Wetlands Day and I will share pictures here afterwards. Come and join me, if you like.