Almost 70% of the peatlands were in the western counties of Donegal, Kerry, Galway and Mayo in 2018, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The CSO has published its document “ Ecosystem Accounts – Peatlands and Heathlands 2018 ”.

The data collection office said ecosystem accounting aims to provide “a coherent and harmonized understanding of ecosystems and their relationships with the economy and the overall beneficiaries of ecosystem goods and services.”

Data: CSO Ireland

CSO data on peatlands and health zones

Data for 2018 show that almost 70% of peatlands were in the western counties of Donegal, Kerry, Galway and Mayo, while almost 70% of the moors and moors were in Cork, Donegal, Kerry and Wicklow.

Over 44% of peatlands, moors and moors were in the Natura 2000 network and / or in areas of national importance protected under National Heritage Areas (NHA) and NHLs proposed in 2018.

Mainly thanks to extensive grazing, more than 60% of peatlands, heathlands and heathlands were used for agriculture in 2018.

The other major land use categories were peat production for peatlands at more than 5% and forestry for heathlands and heathlands at less than 2%.

Status of peatlands

According to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) under the EU Directive on the conservation of habitats, flora and fauna, the general conservation status of peatland and heathland habitats is considered poor or inadequate, and most show a tendency to deteriorate.

Until 2020, nearly 12,000 ha of peatlands had been targeted by restoration projects and more than 20,000 ha were under rehabilitation.

Based on the CORINE Land Cover dataset, the classes – peatlands and moors and moors cover nearly 16% of the national territory in 2018.

CSO data on peatland restoration projects

Peatlands accounted for almost 14% while moors and moors represented less than 2%. The two types of land cover are mainly located on the west coast, in the Midlands and in the Wicklow Mountains.

Almost 5% of peatlands have been affected by drainage works within the framework of Arterial Drainage and Drainage Districts projects.