Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Publication
    The bogs of Ireland: an introduction to the natural, cultural and industrial heritage of Irish peatlands
    (University College Dublin. Environmental Institute, 2008) ; ; ;
    The bogs were the last wilderness to take shape in the Irish landscape in the wake of the Ice Age. As they expanded, they forced back the tide of farming, and then kept the fields at bay along their inhospitable frontiers. During the first farming millennia little could be done to reclaim these barren, wet deserts and replace them with friendly fields as had been done with most of the forest wilderness. Only rarely were the bogs resorted to – to bury butter, to take a short cut, to hide the bodies of the murdered. This outlook on the bog changed for two related reasons. One was the disappearance of woodland, and the increasing scarcity of wood as a domestic fuel; the second was the increasing population. Since the publication of The Bogs of Ireland in 1996, research on Irish peatlands has been concentrated on two main areas: carbon sequestration and a re-evaluation of the prospects for afforestation of the cutaway. Apart from some minor corrections, the text of this digital version is essentially that of the original printed edition of 1996, with the exception of Chapters 5, 7 and 16, which have been expanded and rewritten to take account of recent and ongoing research and developments in these two areas.
      858
  • Publication
    Social and community dimensions in cutaway peatland policy
    Industrial scale harvesting of Irish peatlands has been described both as a technical challenge and a socio-economic opportunity. While these are widely discussed, and thus better understood, a third issue, the relationship of local communities to cutaway peatlands, is less so. Throughout history, peatlands were 'developed' in order to help alleviate unemployment in disadvantaged regions, and this driver is a key influencer of policy and outcomes. But as the resource exploitation in Ireland approaches completion, the new challenges beyond wise use are now being posed: should we conserve some of the endowment undeveloped? Should we restore the cutaway so as to provide recreation and amenity, and other environmental services? How should national policy and local and community policies be reconciled? As part of the transdisciplinary Irish Bogland Project, these dimensions have been examined. Using a combination of focus groups, national and local surveys, and personal interviewing new light has been shed on the social-ecological interface in cutaway peatland areas. In this paper, we will review the relevant literature, and report our methodologies and findings, including the implications for policy.
      80
  • Publication
    Developing a field boundary evaluation and grading system in Ireland
    The purpose of the study was to develop an evaluation and grading system for the main field boundaries in Ireland - hedgerows and dry stone walls. There is currently a lack of scientific information on Irish field boundaries and very little research has been carried out on what are among the most prominent landscape features on the island. Where Irish data are lacking, values were extrapolated from research in other countries. In addition, verbal consultation was carried out with prominent landscape ecologists, scientists and environmental consultants. This consultation led to the creation of a draft survey form modeled on an earlier Hedgerow Evaluation and Grading System (HEGS) (Clements and Tofts, 1992) in the UK. The draft Irish survey, described here, is entitled the Field Boundary Evaluation and Grading System or FBEGS for short. The FBEGS was field-tested in four locations in Ireland by a number of users to assess usefulness and accuracy. Feedback from volunteer surveyors led to an amended FBEGS survey form. This was then tested in ten locations nation-wide. Results are given and a grading system is proposed. It is shown that it may be possible to evaluate a field boundary using a simple grading system but the accuracy of such a survey cannot be confirmed due to the lack of baseline data for Ireland. However, preliminary trial surveys indicate that values assigned to a particular boundary approximate well to professional opinion.
      179
  • Publication
    Developing a field boundary evaluation and grading system in Ireland
    (Faculty of Agriculture, UCD in association with Teagasc, 2003-09) ;
    The purpose of the study reported here was to develop an evaluation and grading system for the main field boundaries in Ireland – hedgerows and dry stone walls. There is currently a lack of scientific information on Irish field boundaries and very little research has been carried out on what are among the most prominent landscape features on the island. Where Irish data are lacking, values were extrapolated from research in other countries. In addition, verbal consultation was carried out with prominent landscape ecologists, scientists and environmental consultants. This consultation led to the creation of a draft survey form modeled on an earlier Hedgerow Evaluation and Grading System (HEGS) (Clements and Tofts, 1992) in the UK. The draft Irish survey, described here, is entitled the Field Boundary Evaluation and Grading System or FBEGS for short. The FBEGS was field-tested in four locations in Ireland by a number of users to assess usefulness and accuracy. Feedback from volunteer surveyors led to an amended FBEGS survey form. This was then tested in ten locations nation-wide. Results are given and a grading system is proposed. It is shown that it may be possible to evaluate a field boundary using a simple grading system but the accuracy of such a survey cannot be confirmed due to the lack of baseline data for Ireland. However, preliminary trial surveys indicate that values assigned to a particular boundary approximate well to professional opinion. Discussion concludes with some recommendations for potential uses.
      1087
  • Publication
    The origin and significance of mushroom stones in lowland karst regions
    (Royal Irish Academy, 2002) ;
    'Mushroom stones', or 'wave stones', are limestone erratics or protruding bedrock that shows signs of erosion or dissolution suggestive of prolonged exposure to standing water. Fifty-three stones in the central lowlands of Ireland were recorded in a systematic fashion, with accurate lip-height measurements taken for more than half the stones using GPS (Global Positioning System) equipment. The heights of their erosional lips are discussed with reference to estimated pre-bog water tables, lake fluctuations and other possible explanations for this phenomenon. The results suggest that the erosion of the stones now found in the bogs of County Offaly cannot be attributed to erosion by a single large lake as previously speculated, whereas the notching of stones in and around wetlands and lakes in Roscommon and Clare is likely to be due largely to flooding and winter water levels.
      108
  • Publication
    Ireland's mushroom stones : relics of a vanished lakeland
    (University College Dublin. Environmental Resource Management, 2003) ;
      281