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03 Oct 2022

'Be proud of your bogs' - RTÉ nature expert's advice to Laois communities

'Be proud of your bogs' - RTÉ nature expert's advice to Laois communities

Some of the attendance at The Biodiversity of Laois with Eanna Ní Lamhna at Portlaoise Library during Heritage Week. Picture: Alf Harvey.

RTÉ nature expert Éanna ní Lamhna is urging Laois people to preserve the bogs and take pride in them.

The environmentalist, biologist, author and broadcaster gave a talk at Portlaoise Library on Wednesday evening, August 17 for Laois Heritage Week.

"The raised bogs in Laois are great. Abbeyleix Bog have done a great job. There is fuel poverty but people are cutting bogs with machines and selling the turf. When it is gone people will have to do something else for heat. Why not do it now. They are going to have to change so why not now. 

"It has come at probably the worst time, with the fuel cost rising but turf does not last forever. Bogs are wonderful places, Laois should be proud of its bogs," she said.

She said that restoring bogs will prevent flooding.

"Bogs are giant sponges. When you drain them and dry them out, then it rains, where does all the water go that was held by the bog? It goes down the main streets of towns," she said.

The expert had explained how bogs formed in the last 10,000 years in lakes of glacial water, and how drying and burning them released fossil fuel carbon, with the 16% of Irish land covered in bogs now reduced to 3%.

The expert who said she visited her aunt Mona Byrne in Mountmellick regularly as a child, gave an entertaining and informative talk about the importance of biodiversity to a full audience. 

She urged against planting flowers that contain no food for pollinators such as daffodils and tulips, begonias, geraniums, roses or any red flowers as bees cannot see red. 

She advises instead to create varied habitats, like native hedgerows and wildflower meadows and to let dandelions and wild daisys bloom in lawns.

Free Gardening for Biodiversity booklet from Laois County Council 

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