Turf cutting compo bill heading for €30m

Stock Image: Getty Images
Stock Image: Getty Images
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The state has shelled out €29.1m to compensate turf cutters banned from cutting turf on certain bogs.

The Cessation of Turf Cutting Compensation Scheme was established in 2011 for active turf cutters cutting on raised bog special areas of conservation (SACs).

The scheme is comprised of a payment of €1,500 per annum, index-linked, for 15 years, or relocation, where feasible, to a non-designated bog, together with a once-off incentive payment of €500.

In 2014, the scheme was extended to active turf cutters from 36 raised bog natural heritage areas.

The overall number of beneficiaries under the scheme to date has been 3,098.

The Government's new Climate Action Plan sets out to restore or rewet all raised bogs that are currently in protected nature areas.

It says such restoration measures and hydrological management of our protected peatlands will halt and reduce peat oxidation and carbon loss. It also plans to undertake further research to assess the potential to sequester, store and reduce emissions of carbon through the management, restoration and rehabilitation of peatlands.

Ireland has approximately 60pc of the remaining raised bog habitat in Western Europe. Most of Ireland's raised bog peatlands are no longer of ecological interest as they have been cut over.

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