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.”
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:
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.
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.
*Tilden, F, Interpreting Our Heritage, 1957, University of North Carolina Press.
All photos © Kate Flood unless otherwise attributed. Contact me here.