From being something destined to disappear, the Abbeyleix bog has been preserved thanks to the vision of the Abbeyleix Bog Project.
The Project won the Environment Award thanks to a decade of campaign which culminated in its opening as a community resource.
Annemarieke Van der Voort, who accepted the award, said the campaign started in 2000 when local people decided to save the bog from peat harvesting.
“It has emerged that this 500 acre bog is an exceptional part of nature that you don’t find so much any more”, she said.
While the bog is open to the public, Ms Van der Voort said the Project aims to install a boardwalk so people can enjoy the bog more without damaging it.
She said there is a core group of 20 people in involved but local people came on board once they saw it for themselves.
“We took people for walks on the bog and they were astounded by the beauty of the place,” she said.