IFA Deputy President Brian Rushe said communication and engagement with farmers at a local level will be key to the success of Bord na Móna’s peatland rehabilitation projects.
Bord na Móna has a number of Peatland Climate Action Scheme public consultations ongoing, which provide an opportunity for local communities and individuals to make comments on the restoration and rehabilitation of peatland.
“In our submission, we made it clear that farmers must be kept fully informed. Their concerns about potential adverse impacts to their farmland during or following the rehabilitation process must be satisfactorily addressed,” said Mr. Rushe.
Other points raised by IFA in the submission to the Peatland Climate Action public consultation process include:
- Farmers concerns that the rehabilitation process may increase the risk of flooding on privately- owned farmland in the vicinity of the peatlands.
- The long-term effect on the local water tables as well as the potential health and safety risks to animal welfare, machinery operation and land access, especially during periods of wet weather.
- That land may be less appropriate for certain farming systems, thereby lowering the value of the property.
“Farmers have had little input in the planning of the rehabilitation of peatlands to date. The establishment of a local working group for each site will be vital to keep farmers and the wider community informed in the planning and development processes,” he said.
“Local farmers and Bord na Móna have always had a close working relationship. As Bord na Mona embark on this next phase, I want to make sure that this relationship continues as it will be critical to the success of the project,” he said.