WHAT IS PEAT?
Peat is an accumulation of
partially decayed vegetation or
organic matter that is unique to
natural areas called peat lands or
Peat is also a fossil fuel. Fossil
fuels are non renewable sources
Peat can be used to cook and heat
WHERE IS PEAT FOUND IN
Peat covers a 6th of Ireland and is
mainly in the west of Ireland.
Peat grows in wet bogs there are
two types of bogs
Raised bogs and blanket bogs
Raised bogs are discreet, raised
and dome shaped masses of peat
in former lakes or shallow
depressions in the landscape.
They occur throughout the
midlands of Ireland. The supply of
water and nutrients is from
rainfall and the substrate is acid
peat soil. It can be up to 12m
deep. Raised bogs are identified
by low growing, open vegetation
dominated by mosses, sedges
and heathers, all of which are
adapted to waterlogged, acidic
and exposed conditions.
Blanket bog form in the mountains and
lowlands of the west of Ireland started at
the end of the last glaciation, 10,000 years
ago. Initially peat formation was confined
to shallow lakes and wet hollows. Over
time an infilling sequence from open water
to fen and acid peat occurred to form the
blanket bog habitat we find today. Later,
acid peat spread out to form a blanket
covering huge areas of poorly drained
land. While some spread may have taken
place as early as 7,000 years ago, many
areas were not engulfed until 4,000 years
ago when the climate became wetter.
Heavy rainfall caused minerals such as iron
to be washed out or leached from the
surface layers of the soil, a process known
as paludifacation. These were deposited
lower down where they formed an
impermeable layer known as an iron pan.
Water cannot move down through such a
layer and the soil surface became
waterlogged as a result. Under these
conditions the accumulation and spread of
peat was made possible.
TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED THE
RATE BY WHICH PEAT IS
Exploitation of peat lands for fuel has been under way in Ireland for
400 years. Today traditional turf cutting, mechanical turf cutting and
industrial peat extraction have accounted for a staggering loss of 47%
of the original area of peat lands in Ireland. This represents over half
a million hectares of land. It concerns the two types of bogs raised
bogs and blanket bogs.
If we keep exploiting peat we will run out very soon.
OLD WAY OF PEAT FARMING
About 400 years ago when peat
farming began and until about
80 years ago used to go out with
a slean (a spade for cutting turf)
and just went at it.
If you were working for a
company then the turf would be
transported either by cart or train
to city's or factories.
This all took a time and effort so
peat coasted a lot of money to
buy and produce.
NEW WAY OF FARMING PEAT
Peat is now cut using large
machinery to collect tonnes of
peat each day
Then it is sent to the factory to
be processed and turned into
Not many people have to be
employed because machines do
most of the work this is call
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE BOGS?
Many people want to start to protect
bogs from being destroyed from
exploitation and visual and normal
pollution. The bogs in Ireland make
up 51% percent of the bogs in
Ireland and are home the artefacts
Others believe we should keep using
bogs to farm peat because many
people like to light fires and many
people work in the peat industry in
I think we should be looking into a
renewable source of energy such as
wind power because Ireland is the
windiest country in the E.U