In summer 2022, ReWild Wicklow volunteers joined forces with NPWS rangers to start a peatland restoration trial project on a relatively small area of degraded peatland on the Barnacullian Ridge in the Wicklow Mountains. The project sought to apply methods of restoration used successfully on degraded peatland in trials conducted in the United Kingdom. Over the course of several volunteer days our group helped the rangers spread heather mulch, grass seed and fertiliser, build over 100 small timber dams and erect sheep fencing around the project site. This trial proved very successful with considerable areas revegetating and the dams successfully slowing the runoff of water, creating pools and stopping the runoff of peat.
The project site for this trial was just 4 hectares but there are an estimated 343 hectares of extremely de-vegetated peatland in the Wicklow Mountains. We were very energised by the success of this trial and in 2023 we are partnering with the NPWS rangers to expand these techniques of restoration to areas greater in size and help provide funding and the crucial manual labour. This project is being supported with funding from the Heritage Council through their Community Heritage Grants Scheme 2023 and the Local Authority Waters Programme through their Community Water Development Fund.