About

This blog celebrates the bogs and peatlands of Ireland, mostly through the lens of my local bogland, introduced here in A Girley Bog Story. Freeman Tilden quotes an American National Parks manual that illustrates my broad aim in writing about Girley bog, photographing it and occasionally leading walks on it:

“Through interpretation, understanding; through understanding, appreciation; through appreciation, protection.”

About me

I am a researcher focusing on the cultural and social dimensions of peatland conservation and the role of communities in contributing to the restoration and resilience of peatlands. My research integrates social science, ecology, and the humanities to explore the relational networks between people and peatlands. I completed an MSc in World Heritage Management & Conservation from University College Dublin and my Masters research examined the social and cultural history of Girley Bog Natural Heritage Area in County Meath. I am currently a PhD student in the School of Geography, Archaeology & Irish Studies at NUI Galway, Ireland. My research focuses on exploring the valuation of cultural ecosystem services at Irish peatlands and also looks at the role of community conservation initiatives in the protection of wetlands and peatlands in Ireland. I am grateful to be working with members of the Community Wetlands Forum on this project. The first publication arising from this research is available to read here:

Assigning value to cultural ecosystem services: The significance of memory and imagination in the conservation of Irish peatlands

As part of my research, I carried out Community Mapping workshops with people living near Girley Bog and others involved with its conservation. You can read more about community mapping here.

I am currently the Liaison Officer for the Community Wetlands Forum on the Waterlands Horizon 2020 Project working on scaling up the restoration of wetlands across Europe.

This is a “Slow Blog”, a concept I first came across on the informative and interesting Ecology is Not a Dirty Word blog, which describes slow blogging as encouraging “insightful, considered posts uploaded less frequently when the author actually has something to say”. While I always have lots to say, I don’t always have time to be insightful and considered about it so hopefully, the slow blogging concept will justify my long periods of inactivity. Ultimately, I wish to do what I can to help conserve Ireland’s remaining peatlands and love the sense of solitude, peace and tranquillity that can be found on the bog.

Stunning Sphagnum
Stunning Sphagnum
Bonnie's favourite part of the cutover bog
Bonnie’s favourite part of the cutover bog – RIP January 2015
me and happy on the bog [1600x1200]
Enjoying a day out on the bog with new pup Happy

*Tilden, F, Interpreting Our Heritage, 1957, University of North Carolina Press.

All photos © Kate Flood unless otherwise attributed. Contact me here.

3 thoughts on “About

  1. I found your blog while looking up habitat information on a peat moss (Sphagnum palustre) and saw this wonderful statement:

    “Girley Bog may not have the exotic plants, animals or diversity of life found in a tropical jungle. It may not even be the most beautiful area of bogland in Ireland, but it is a wilderness close to where I live, and thus has great value to me and the many people who have come to appreciate it.”

    “but it is a wilderness close to where I live” is so true of all the small patches of wild places that we live near or sometimes in.

    Nice photos and write-ups. Looking forward to more.

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